Residents frustrated over trash piles left behind by college students


ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The end of the college semester has once again led to piles of trash left on porches and in the streets by students who’ve gone home.

It’s not just a build up of trash but of frustration from both residents and the Department of General Services (DGS).

“It’s not fair. It’s not fair that we have to live like this,” said resident Asia McGhee.

She said no one should have to live like this. Mounds of trash on the porch next-door was left behind from college students which have attracted flies and left smells of rotting food McGhee describes as unbearable.  

“The smell. It goes right through my house. I mean it’s disgusting,” McGhee said.  

The resident has lived in the neighborhood for a couple of years with her two children. She said the trash problem hasn’t gotten better. The debris has also drawn some unsavory characters.  

“Raccoons are over here. Possums are over here. It’s maggots because it’s literally rotten food in these bags, and then you have homeless people coming in and ripping the bags open and making it even worse,” McGhee said.  

The pile up has sat on the next-door porch for a week and similar scenes can be found around the neighborhood. 

“It’s everywhere, so it becomes a herculean task to get rid of it,” said DGS Deputy Commissioner Frank Zeoli.

The deputy commissioner said his crews can tackle the streets and sidewalks, but it could take them time to clear private property.  

“It’s an unfortunate thing that other residents have to smell and see this, but we do have to follow the law as it’s laid out,” Zeoli said.

In a situation like McGhee’s, DGS can only act after they’ve sent a certified letter to the building owner, plus time for the owner to act, which could take about two weeks.  

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