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The Civic Scene: Keep neighborhoods clean by not posting ads and recycling

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One of the things that detracts from a neighborhood’s beauty is a sign or notice posted on a lamppost, bus shelter, tree or any other city structure. Not only do the items often look bad, but after a few weeks they often hang loose. Community Board 8 sent me the regulations of the city Sanitation Department, which lists the fine as $75 to $200 for the first offense and $250 to $300 for the second and subsequent offenses.

Posting on a public tree can lead to a fine of $150 to $200 for the first offense and $300 to $550 for the second and subsequent offenses. Trees are living things and nails or staples can cause damage, so the fine is greater. We have Queens communities with trees, lawns, bushes and plants, so we should keep unsightly postings from hanging in front of our faces.

While some of these posters have a worthy social objective, they are unsightly, especially if three or four are placed one on top of another and the rain causes them to hang. One can pull these signs down and recycle them or call 311 or CB 8 at 718-264-7895 to report them.

Our malls along 75th Avenue, Union Turnpike, 69th Avenue, Utopia Parkway and Francis Lewis Boulevard are designed to separate traffic, prevent accidents and provide trees and green areas. Regretfully, some people throw trash on these malls. Kindly pick up the trash or call 311 or CB 8. Perhaps your civic association could do a cleanup. Sometimes the city agency responsible for maintenance forgets to mow the grass or clean the tree pits, so we have to remind them.

Cardboard boxes are not proper receptacles for trash or recyclables, except cardboard. Large boxes from appliances should not have plastics or wooden plates in them. The cardboard should be cut and tied up if necessary.

Your large blue cans are for recyclable metal cans and plastic bottles only. Styrofoam and plastic toys are not recyclable. Any object more than 50 percent metal should be put out as recyclable. Put out trash and recycling cans after 5 p.m. the evening prior to your recycling day. In the winter, put out the cans prior to sunset.

The top and bottom of your license plate must be visible. Some dealers have large frames which can obscure the words “The Empire State.” The ticket for this is $65. Parking meters are now 25 cents for 20 minutes.

Free crime prevention programs are available from the 107th Precinct. They are a residential security survey, auto glass VIN etching, a combat auto theft program, Commuter C.A.T., Help End Auto Theft and bicycle registration. For further information, contact the 107th Precinct crime prevention specialist at 718-969-5998 or community affairs officers at 718-969-5974.

People are not supposed to put tires out with their regular trash. You must use the Sanitation Department’s Tire Disposal Program. It will accept up to four tires from passenger cars at designated garages between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Call 311 or your local community board for site locations. You must have a valid state driver’s license and state registration with city address. No commercial vehicles are permitted.

One can only dispose of a freezer, refrigerator, water cooler, dehumidifier, air conditioner or any other appliance containing chlorofluorocarbon gas if one makes an appointment with Sanitation for the removal of the gas. Call the Sanitation Action Center at 212-219-8090 Monday through Friday between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. The law requires you take off the door of any refrigerator or freezer so children do not crawl inside, close the door and suffocate.

To stop loud parties, radios, dogs or any other noise, call 311. Noise makers are not good neighbors. When you call 311, you will obtain a complaint number. You can refer to it if you have to call again.

GOOD AND BAD NEWS OF THE WEEK: There is again talk of reducing pollution from coal-burning power plants. An old plan is called “cap and trade.”

This plan permits a polluter to purchase credits from those who do not pollute. It is foolish because it does not clean up the pollution from polluting, coal-burning power plants in the Mid-West, whose poisonous gasses blow eastward into New York.

The federal government should use the money spent on cap and trade to clean up the smoke from polluting power plants. The savings in damage to the environment and people’s lungs would be cheaper.

Some power companies are cleaning up their smokestacks. Some power plants are responsible businesses.

Updated 6:32 pm, October 10, 2011
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