Three-story high tower of trash remains in Sandy's wake

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By Brian Thompson, NBCNewYork.com

A pile of household debris from Sandy's ruins in Long Branch, N.J., is drawing complaints from residents of an apartment complex next door.

The tower of trash is roughly three stories high and sits on an empty lot next to the upscale Pier Village shopping and apartment development on the city's beachfront.

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"You pay to live in a nice community, and this should not be your view," said Liz Angrisani, who has lived in Pier Village for two years.

Families are still living in hotels paid for by FEMA vouchers, and on Wednesday FEMA said there are an estimated 10,000 people who require alternate housing yet there are only 6,000 rental properties available. NBC's Katy Tur reports.

Now Angrisani worries about rats and other rodents in her neighborhood.

Mary McDonnell, who owns The Stone Hut, a gift boutique, said the pile on Ocean Boulevard makes passing motorists think the shops are closed, when in reality they suffered no damage from Sandy.

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Mayor Adam Scheider told NBC 4 New York that the city has had no other choice than to store the debris, which includes mattresses, sofas, toys and countless other items, on the vacant lot.

"We just weren't going to get the streets cleared," said Schneider, explaining that sending dump trucks to a landfill would take two hours total.

But he said the City Council will meet Friday to award a contract to start hauling it away, and he expects activity to begin a day or two later.

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That can't come too soon for the merchants of Pier Village. In the meantime, residents like Angrisani say the trash tower reminds her of the work ahead.

"It keeps you motivated to help the community and rebuild," she said.

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