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Greenpoint Residents Raise A Stink Over Composting Program

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- People living in Greenpoint, Brooklyn said a new program to improve the environment is creating a stench in their neighborhood.

As CBS2's Hazel Sanchez reported, their complaints are adding up.

Robert Diaz said it takes just two words to describe Greenpoint.

"It stinks," he said.

Diaz said it stinks because of brown bins filled with food and yard waste. It's all part of the city's pilot composting program that expanded into the neighborhood a month ago.

"It's not worth doing, a lot of maggots, flies, it smells," he said.

"In theory it's a good idea, but practically it's horrible. It's disgusting," Tim Lozada said.

Lozada said despite wanting to do his part to help the environment he stopped composting because he said it was ruining his quality of life.

"I've been here eight years and never had a bug in my apartment, and now the place is crawling with roaches," he said, "It's almost as if the city has put a feeding bin for bugs every ten, fifteen feet."

Residents said one of the contributing factors to the problem is that the city only picks up the compost once a week. Pick up is on Monday on Guernsey Street and residents said by Sunday, the conditions are awful.

"It smells like dirty diapers and vomit all up and down the block, and the smell lingers for days," one resident said.

The Department of Sanitation suggested that residents freeze their food scraps until collection day to help with the smell.

Maria Fernandez said she just wants the city to dump the program.

"(Do you think if they came here maybe twice a week to pick up the compost it would make it better?) Not enough, three days," she said.

The city said it may take time for residents to find the best composting practices that work for them, so for now the brown bins are here to stay.

The composting program is voluntary for now.


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