2011-02-25 / Top Stories

NPS Tries To Combat Illegal Dumping

By Nicholas Briano

A collection of garbage and construction debris dumped at Riis Park over the weekend. A collection of garbage and construction debris dumped at Riis Park over the weekend. In the vastness of Gateway National Recreation Area is the ability to illegally dump garbage, and in many cases construction materials are being dumped alongside the road or in hidden areas of the park.

A large load of construction debris in black bags was recently dumped in Riis Park creating an unsightly image for the park. However, the problem of illegal dumping is something the National Park Service is forced to combat on a reoccurring basis.

Rita Mullally, district manager of the Jamaica Bay Unit of Gateway, says the $500 fine imposed on illegal dumpers hardly deters their actions as problematic areas continue near Floyd Bennett Field in Brooklyn and the Wildlife Refuge outside Broad Channel, and now more recently in Riis Park as well.

“On a daily basis the maintenance team checks the areas,” she said. “If there is no pattern to the illegal dumping … it can be a difficult task.”

Mullally says unmarked cars survey the area at night and monitor the problematic areas in hopes of catching someone in the act.

“If we see a pattern we determine whether or not there’s a need to have some patrols enforcing that area.”

As of now she believes the Riis Park incident is isolated and can’t be classified as a problem area thus far.

Not only is the dumping an illegal activity, but it has the potential to become an eyesore to visitors of the park and, in some cases, a safety hazard.

“Our hopes are to get to the material as quickly as we can because it affects the aesthetics of the park,” Mullally said.

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