Friday, April 28, 2017

Garbage And Rat Playground In Roosevelt Island PS/IS 217 Courtyard - Principal Says School Not Allowed To Use Dumpsters And Sanitation Department Does Not Always Remove Garbage On Scheduled Days

A Roosevelt Island tipster reports:

PS/IS 217 doesn't put their garbage in containers

and it's a playground for rats as you can see from the video.

It's disgusting/disturbing. I've talked to our landlord about it and they've said they reached out but there's been no change.
I asked Roosevelt Island PS/IS 217 Principal Mandana Beckman about the garbage and rat problem raised by the tipster's complaint.

Ms Beckman replied:
As the community knows, a determination was made by the DOE to remove trees from PS/IS 217's rear courtyard that were, unfortunately, growing unevenly and leaning. These trees and their roots had created potential hazards to our building, and also made our rear emergency exits unusable for our students, creating a safety concern for our students and staff. We have also heard concerns about rats in the area, and share those concerns.

217 is anxious to replant this area, to remove the tripping hazards, and to replant and beautify the rear courtyard. At this point, our plans are on hold due to an unexplained cancellation due to weather by the only DOE contractor responsible for root grinding and removal. We urge the DOE to help us ready this area for planting this spring, and also to assist with the leveling of the land and rat abatement.

Despite raising concerns with the NY Department of Sanitation, 217 has been advised by the Sanitation Department that 217 is not permitted to use dumpsters and the Sanitation Department from Queens does not always come to remove the school's garbage on the scheduled days.

We look forward to working with the community to improve the situation. We also look forward to working with our PTA, students, parents and members of the community to replant and rebuild this Spring.
UPDATE 5/1 - I asked Roosevelt Island NYC Council Member Ben Kallos to look into matter of PS/IS 217 courtyard rats and garbage. Council Member Kallos' office responded:
Our office has alerted both the Health Department and the Department of Education, they are looking into the problem in hopes of finding a quick and permanent solution.