How to Identify and Avoid Common Sanitation Violations
It’s Fall Cleaning here at the SiteCompli office – there’s no better time to review common violations issued by the Department of Sanitation, and ways to prevent them!
Know Routing Times
DSNY inspectors issue violations for dirty sidewalks, dirty areas, and failure to clean 18 inches into the street only during two designated one-hour periods per day. These are known as Enforcement Routing periods. Residential premises have Enforcement Routing from 8 AM to 8:59 AM, and 6 PM to 6:59 PM each day of the week. Commercial premises have Enforcement Routing at various times (depending on the Sanitation District/Section – call 311 to determine specific times for your property), but a good rule of thumb is to keep the sidewalks clean at the beginning and end of each day. Please note that vacant lots, backyards, areaways, and alleys are also subject to Enforcement Routing.
Watch Your A-Frames
Per the law, sidewalks must be kept free from any obstructions that could impede pedestrian traffic. This includes sandwich boards/A-frame signs popular in restaurants and retail stores. Make sure these boards/signs are properly placed and secured, and out of the way of pedestrians.
Be Friends with Thy Neighbor
One of the biggest challenges owners and managers face is receiving violations for trash/receptacles actually belonging to a neighboring property. One of the best ways to handle this issue is to join forces with your neighboring buildings and devise a common sanitation strategy. Supers can work together to ensure sidewalks are cleaned, trash and recycling is properly sorted and laid out, and boundaries are clear. Not only does this help improve the overall look of your neighborhood, it reduces the risk of violations for both properties.
Avoid Repeat Offenses
Per the DSNY, any person who has pled or been found guilty or in default by the Environmental Control Board (ECB) for 12 or more Notices of Violation within a 12-month period will be deemed a repeat violator. Repeat violator designation applies even if the penalties are paid. Repeated infractions may cause the base penalty for each violation to increase, sometimes as much as 5 times the original amount. Don’t give inspectors a reason to revisit your property – if you see them onsite, ask them how you can comply with current regulations and avoid getting future violations.
For a deeper look at Sanitation infractions, check out the DSNY Rules and Regulations Summary.