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Exclusive: Horse Manure Becoming An Epidemic In And Around Central Park

NEW YORK (CBS 2) -- It's a smelly problem that New York City apparently doesn't want a whiff of – horse manure left by carriage horses has some people furious.

CBS 2's Marcia Kramer found it in crosswalks along Central Park South, where pedestrians and bicyclists had to navigate around it, and all over the Central Park roadway, where many find it -- you should pardon the term -- a nagging problem. There are many names for it, but horse manure is the most polite. It's left by carriage horses.

"The dust, the dirt, the smell … it makes it hard to walk, run, do anything out here," Manhattan resident Asher Lipman said. "It's terrible. I'm glad you're doing something about it."

Lipman is a runner, but everyone who uses the park has to cope with it. It's also hard on the pedi-cab drivers.

"It's disgusting. Smell very bad. Make the whole park smell very bad," Harlem resident Aziz Gassambe said.

"The smell is not good," added Ridgewood resident and pedi-cab driver Reysel Goru.

And here's an interesting fact: every day the 68 carriage horses on the street produce 680 pounds of droppings, and not all of it is caught by the so-called diapers attached to the carriage behind the horse.

However, drivers defend it as just part of the "charm" of the popular tourist attraction that's been around since 1861. They say they do try to clean up after themselves.

"We have diapers on the back of the carriage. We have a cleaning crew seven days a week. We asked the city if we could put stuff down for the odor and the city won't let us do that," said Ian McKeever of Shamrock Stables.

The group "New Yorkers for Livable and Safe Streets" said the manure is just one reason the horse carriages should be replaced by electric cars.

"Also we've heard from residents along Central Park West and Central Park South especially in the summer time when the sun is roasting down on the manure who really feel like it's a quality of life issue," Carly Knudson said.

The Health Department was monumentally unmoved by the issue, arguing that horse manure is not a health issue, unless people consume it.

Some argue that if the city gives out tickets to dog owners who don't pick up after their pets it should ticket horse carriage drivers.

Please offer your thoughts in the comments section below.

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