Before you piss off the union, clean up your basement

Teri Rogers Headshot - Floral
By Teri Karush Rogers  |
December 1, 2010 - 6:01PM

A dispute between a major Brooklyn landlord and 73 locked-out union workers took a filthy turn today when Local 32BJ released this 48-second video showing open sewage pits and other unsanitary working conditions in basement areas below the 59-building Flatbush Gardens complex.

It doesn’t look great, that’s for sure.  But, ahem, how sanitary is your basement?  If you have a trash compactor, it may be worse than you think.

 "When not properly installed, maintained and kept clean, trash chutes in conjunction with compactors often provide the number one optimal environment for urban pests,"  Gil Bloom, the vice president of Standard Pest Management in Queens, told BrickUnderground in our trash-chute expose last spring.

Bloom's vivid description of what happens after you drop your trash down the chute:

“With the introduction of compactors, we created a centralized shaft in which food waste and other offerings accumulates on rough multi-textured walls that were previously incinerator chimneys—or in newer units, the waste sticks to connecting points and possible breaches in the compactor chute sleeves.

The raw garbage that then lands at the bottom with varying velocity splashes back up and then is compacted into plastic bag snakes that are tied and cut. Frequently, the delicate ooze from this compacting escapes, or waste itself accumulates beneath the rollers which move the trash bags along. 

At this point, the bags—which hopefully are not torn, and are not rodent proof—are stacked in the room for several days till disposal.  This process provides the organic and in many instances gelatinous waste which promotes pests as well as attracts them.

Sounds like a YouTube moment to us.


Teri Rogers Headshot - Floral

Teri Karush Rogers

Founder & Publisher

Founder and publisher Teri Karush Rogers launched Brick Underground in 2009. As a freelance journalist, she had previously covered New York City real estate for The New York Times. Teri has been featured as an expert on New York City residential real estate by The New York Times, New York Daily News, amNew York, NBC Nightly News, The Real Deal, Business Insider, the Huffington Post, and NY1 News, among others. Teri earned a BA in journalism and a law degree from New York University.

Brick Underground articles occasionally include the expertise of, or information about, advertising partners when relevant to the story. We will never promote an advertiser's product without making the relationship clear to our readers.