City employee caught dumping trash from garbage truck into East Village planter

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Danielle Leigh reports on the feud over garbage trucks parking on a residential street in the East Village.

A feud over garbage trucks parking on a residential street in the East Village heated up Thursday after a New York City Sanitation Department employee was captured by a surveillance camera dumping trash out of his garbage truck into a planter on E 10th Street between First and Second Avenues outside Pink's, a popular neighborhood bar and restaurant.

"They weren't good neighbors to begin and this is adding insult to injury," said Pink's owner Avi Burn.

Burn and his neighbors have been in the midst of a fight with the Sanitation Department that began a little over a week ago when the city lost the use of a parking garage near Hudson Yards and decided to park 21 garbage trucks at three locations on the East Side, including a residential section of E. 10th Street.

"It's really upsetting to come out and see a wall of garbage trucks in what was once a quiet really nice neighborhood," said Michelle Lang, who lives in a condo near Pink's.

Lang, Burn, and their neighbors complain that the trucks ate up available street parking and destroyed the area's curb appeal, bringing with them a strong odor and loud noises.

Burn complained he's seen a 40% drop in business since the garbage trucks started parking on the street.

Wednesday, Mayor Bill de Blasio promised to talk to the Sanitation Commissioner about residents' concerns.

"We certainly do not want those residential areas to feel the burden," de Blasio said.
It was several hours after de Blasio's comments, early Thursday morning that the sanitation department employee was caught on camera littering.

"It was shocking to see. I can't get inside his head but actions do speak a lot louder than words," Lang said.

"We feel that the city doesn't have our best interest in mind," Burn said.

A spokesperson for the Sanitation Department addressed the incident in a written statement,

"Our Sanitation Workers are trained in anti-littering regulations and proper trash disposal. It is our Department's job to keep the city clean and it's a responsibility that our Sanitation Workers take pride in and work to do every day," wrote Press Secretary Dina Montes. "We have shared the video with the supervisors at this location who have spoken to our field staff. The Department is committed to keep those equipment staging areas clean and be the best neighbors possible at all our locations."

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