What to Know
- Carmine Bhimull has a two-story home on the corner of 118th Avenue and 155th Street in Queens, near the picturesque Baisley Pond Park
- It has gotten countless violations from the Department of Buildings because of the huge trash pile; fines total more than $342,000
- The 57-year-old homeowner says what she keeps on her property is her business; neighbors say there are rats everywhere
Carmine Bhimull's neighbors have been complaining for more than a decade about her collection of what they say are piles of smelly trash outside her New York City home − and now the city is finally doing something about it.
On the corner of 118th Avenue and 155th Street in Queens, just a block away from picturesque Baisley Pond Park, sits Bhimull's two-story home which has received countless violations from the Department of Buildings. The fines total more than $342,000, none of which has been paid, according to the DOB.
The 57-year-old homeowner says what she keeps on her property is her business.
"It's recycle. I do recycle. What’s so wrong in doing recycle?" Bhimull said. She told News 4 on Wednesday that's how she makes a living. When asked about health concerns and rats, Bhimull said, "there's rats everywhere."
A Google Maps image of the home taken in October 2018 shows that the property hasn't changed much in the past year. Completely filled black garbage bags can be seen sitting on top of the awning.
Frustrated neighbors who say they have to deal with "nasty" smell coming from the home, as well as rodents, have gotten tired of asking the city to do something.
"I tried calling the police. I tried writing letters. I tried talking to people, nothing works. Nothing works," one neighbor said.
The police later showed up at her door with an ambulance and she was taken away. The city says it has opened an adult protective services case for her. But what will happen to all the empty bottles, knick knacks, plants and all sorts of items littered across Bhimull's front and back yards remains to be seen.
The health department had also issued its own share of fines, but the situation remained. Officials struggled with how to handle complaints about what individuals can do on their own private property.
"This is ridiculous. Nobody wants to deal with this. It’s rats, it’s cats, it’s bugs, it’s dead cats. She’s destroying people’s property," another neighbor said.
On Thursday, a goverment source told NBC New York that the property was being cleaned up by the owner's representative, and that the city will provide any necessary assistance, including possible service needs for the owner.