2007_05_trash.jpgCity trash inspectors have been checking out neighborhoods all around town and say that the South Shore of Staten Island has the cleanest streets. The dirtiest? Brooklyn's Bedford-Stuyvesant, where residents tell the Daily News that drivers litter the streets. A church administrator said, "It seems every time we sweep, more trash comes."

How do trash inspectors rate the streets? There's a scale, and according to the News, "3.0 is the dirtiest rating and 1.0 is the cleanest, meaning there are no traces of trash. Only streets below 1.5 are 'acceptably clean.'" (Bed-Stuy was 86% "acceptably clean.") The inspectors are independent contractors who the city has hired since the 1970s to survey the streets. Inspector Edwin Cuevas, a 14 year veteran, says, "3.0 are very difficult to find nowadays. The most you find is a 2.0, which is pretty dirty." He declared a street that had a cigarette carton, juice box and ripped garbage bag an "1.8."

The neighborhoods with clean streets: Unsurprisingly, it's the one that are very residential - S.I.'s Tottenville and Great Kills, Queens' Douglaston and Little Neck, and the Bronx's Riverdale. Trash-strewn neighborhoods tend to have more business, such as Chinatown and the Lower East Side.

Here's an FAQ from the Department of Sanitation. And you can tell the DOS about an overflowing public litter basket or request one for your street.

Photograph of a Park Slope sidewalk from 2006 by davidfg on Flickr; davidfg wrote at the time "To the person who believes that 6th Avenue between St. Marks Place and Flatbush is a perfectly fine place to dispose of household trash several times a week, spawning small rubbish tornadoes all over: I will find out who you are. One day you will pay." It's unclear whether the trash-dumper stop his/her rude ways.