SCHENECTADY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – A call to action was declared in a Schenectady neighborhood after an increase in trash being tossed on sidewalks, streets and parks.
Robert Harvey doesn’t sugarcoat it.
“You know, this place is looking like garbage,” he said.
He’s lived in Schenectady for almost 30 years. The last six years, he’s been the president of the Eastern Avenue Neighborhood Association. He loves the city, but he’s seen enough of the littering.
“People toss things out the car window, or people when they leave a convenience store eating a sandwich or a candy bar, the paper goes right on the street as soon as they’re finished,” he said.
It’s not just one or two wrappers but parks and sidewalks full of them. Harvey said it’s a black eye for the city.
“When you come up the street, it has to be inviting,” he said. “Right now it’s not.”
Harvey helps organize groups that clean up the litter, but days later and most of the areas are again covered with trash.
Harvey isn’t mad at the city. He said they’re doing what they can. Rather, he believes it’s a mindset.
“Pride is an interesting thing because you have to care about yourself, care about where you live, care about the area that you’re in,” he said.
Moe Abdullah works at a deli near Crane Street, one of the areas hardest hit by litter.
“I see people just drive by and throw stuff in front of the business and just leave,” he said.
Like Harvey, Abdullah said he takes pride in keeping his neighborhood clean. Both men believe more needs to be done such as stricter punishments for violators. However, they believe litter will continue to pile up until changes are made.
“I think the whole city needs more than that and so do we,” Harvey said.
NEWS10 ABC reached out to Schenectady city officials. They support any efforts to keep the city clean and said they plan on working with police to increase punishments for those who litter.