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State leaders want to clean Glendale trash

Legislators representing Middle Village and Glendale announced they had authored two bills to alleviate the strong stench of garbage from trains passing by that has been breathed in by residents in both neighborhoods.

One bill requires garbage companies that maintain garbage containers on rail cars on the New York & Atlantic Railway, including Waste Management, to provide solid lids for garbage, which can decompose, and tarps for construction debris. The other increases penalties that waste companies would face for violating regulations spelled out in the first bill.

State Assemblymen Andrew Hevesi (D-Forest Hills) and Michael Miller (D-Woodhaven) co-sponsored the bills, while state Sen. Joseph Addabbo (D-Howard Beach) is a co-sponsor of the legislation in the Senate.

The legislators also said a group called Civics United for Railroad Environmental Solutions would be doing cleanups along the tracks in Middle Village and Glendale.

Residents have complained for years about the train cars idling in the neighborhoods and being awakened by noises as early as 5 a.m.

Some community members at a news conference held by the legislators and City Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley (D-Middle Village) last week said they want the trash in their neighborhoods to be barged as opposed to being hauled by train on a route northbound through New York and then southbound to its final destination in Virginia.

“They are on a tour of New York and what do we call it?” said Juniper Park Civic Association President Bob Holden. “We don’t call it the love train. We call it the stink train.”

Other residents, including Catalpa Avenue homeowners Zbigniew Marczak and his wife Barbara, said they were worried about what else is being carried on the trains.

The Marczaks, who have lived close to the train for the past 17 years, said the smell from the trains started permeating the neighborhood in the last four to five years.

“During the night I come back from work at 2 a.m., and they are spewing pollution and noise,” Zbigniew Marczak said. “Last year we couldn’t go out and have a barbecue. I cannot walk my dog because of the smell.”

Reach reporter Howard Koplowitz by e-mail at hkoplowitz@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4573.

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