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Councilmember David Ryu Led Larchmont Alley Clean Up

Local heroes clean up Larchmont alley (l-r) Steve Cohen, Erik Flexner, Councilmember David Ryu, Rob Fisher, Heather Duffy Boylston, John Winther, Luisa Torres. Edie Freré is not picture but was also part of the clean up.

This story was updated to correctly identify the workers.

Yesterday, City Council Member David Ryu led a clean up of the Larchmont alley with members of the Larchmont Boulevard Business Association, his field deputy Rob Fisher, this reporter, Village Pizzeria owner Steve Cohen and others. The small but focused crew, outfitted with plastic gloves and armed with trash bags, moved into the alley behind the City parking lot to clean up trash in the alley that runs behind the buildings on the west side of Larchmont Blvd.

Cohen has been complaining about the trash on Larchmont for a long time. He’s sent the Buzz many photos, asking us to draw attention to what he considers a complete lack of civic pride. So Cohen was out there Tuesday with a broom, sweeping the trashing into piles while Erik Flexner, a realtor with Coldwell Banker, scooped the piles into a trash bag held by this reporter. Heather Duffy Boylston, of the Duffy Company, who represents the Larchmont Village BID, Edie Freré, owner of Landis Stationery,  Luisa Torres, an employee from Burger Lounge, John Winther, president of the LBA and office manager of Coldwell Banker, joined Councilmember David Ryu and Rob Fisher, CD Field Deputy filling trash bags.

Rob Fisher, Erik Flexner and Steve Cohen swept of trash and debris from the Larchmont alley

Cohen has said he worries that the filthy state of the alley reflects poorly on the neighborhood, and attracts vermin and other pests, posing a potential health risk. Cohen said he wants to see businesses lock their trash bins and make sure they are emptied regularly. And he, along with others in the LBA, want to see the City start addressing the problem of businesses that don’t comply with the requirements to have trash bins, and simply litter the alley.

Trash overflowing from the bins in the Larchmont alley. (photo taken in January 2018 by Steve Cohen)
Trash piled up in the Larchmont alley. (photo taken in June by Steve Cohen)

Yesterday, Ryu listened to the concerns as he and CD4 Field Deputy Rob Fisher picked up trash. They promised to look into the matter of enforcement. They also offered to help with an education effort to remind business owners that the City offers free recycling to businesses and they offered to install another Big Belly trash can on the street, since those are often overflowing with trash even though they’re emptied twice a day by a contractor hired by the Larchmont BID, according to Boylston, the spokesperson for the BID. Boylston said more cans would definitely help, and that it’s disheartening to see people just pile trash on  the full cans when they could just walk a little further and to another can.

“It’s really our collective responsibility to keep Larchmont clean,” Boylston told the Buzz.

Larchmont’s Big Belly trash cans are often overflowing with trash. (photo taken by Steven Cohen on a Sunday evening in July)

The group gathered a half dozen large bags of trash that workers from KYCC came by and picked up a few hours later at the Ryu’s request. They also swept more of the alley. KYCC is one of several non-profit groups who help CD4 on clean up projects according to Rob Fisher.

City workers came along about two hours to pick up the trash bags filled by volunteers. photo from Rob Fisher)
City workers swept up more debris along the alley walls. (photo from Rob Fisher)

For now, the alley looks a lot better, thanks to the efforts of a small group of concerned business owners and citizens. But while Councilmember Ryu and his staff wrestle with the issues of compliance and trash removal, the alley is likely to fill up with trash again. Maybe, if we all do our part, we can keep the alley clean a little longer.  We can certainly make an effort to keep the sidewalks clean.

Lusia Torres, Erik Flexner, Steve Cohen, Rob Fisher, Heather Duffy Boylston, Edie Freré, John Welborne, Councilmember David Ryu, and John Winther gather for a photo before heading into the alley to clean up trash.
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Patricia Lombard
Patricia Lombard
Patricia Lombard is the publisher of the Larchmont Buzz. Patty lives with her family in Fremont Place. She has been active in neighborhood issues since moving here in 1989. Her pictorial history, "Larchmont" for Arcadia Press is available at Chevalier's Books.

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