HAMTRAMCK (WWJ) – A Hamtramck city council member is blaming what he says is an ongoing trash problem on the community’s rich cultural diversity.
Councilman Ian Perrotta says garbage is piling up in alleyways between homes in the Detroit enclave; and, in some cases, refuse is simply being tossed out into the streets.
“There is an issue with trash in Hamtramck,” Perrotta told WWJ’s Lauren Barthold in an interview. “I think some of it comes from the fact that some of our immigrant population comes from areas where regular trash collection and sanitation is not available, or not a priority.”
First settled by German farmers, Hamtramck became predominantly Polish in the early 1900s. The city of around 22,000 is now home to a majority Muslim population.
“The previous iterations of the immigrant population were more Europeans who maybe came from places that had similar methods of sanitation,” Perrotta said. “The current wave of immigrants is primarily from Yemen and Bangladesh.”
He said city officials are taking steps to deal with the issue.
“We are installing several dozen trash cans in the main business district in the hopes that it will mitigate some of the trash that is just casually tossed. There are also bins,” he said. “There’s program that’s being worked on also to educate residents and try and give them a heads up on how to be respectful and curious citizens.”
Perrotta said the trash problem was brought to his attention when it came up at a youth town hall meeting.
Calls and emails for comment from other council members — several of whom are Muslim — and the city’s mayor have not been returned.