Table of Contents
1. Where to Start: SeeClickFix and Search Albany Can I report a non-emergency City issue such as a pothole or an overgrown lot without making a phone call? You can. SeeClickFix is a free and user-friendly mobile app and web tool that allows people to report and track quality-of-life issues and “get things fixed” where they live or work. Constituents can use it to report non-emergency neighborhood issues such as graffiti, potholes, damaged trees, illegal parking, vacant buildings, and illegal trash. With SeeClickFix, people can map the location of an issue, add video or photos, and include comments. City of Albany staff monitors issues, responds to posts, and addresses problems. The communication between constituents and staff is direct, transparent and trackable. SeeClickFix users can monitor their issue or issues in a specific neighborhood with the neighborhood watch feature from the time they are reported until they are addressed. To use the app, go to SeeClickFix or download the SeeClickFix app on your smartphone. Is there a convenient online tool where I can learn about my neighborhood? There is. Search Albany is a powerful resource to get information about your property and neighborhood. It’s an interactive online map that includes web links and data to make it easier to access property information, explore local government, collaborate with partners, and connect with community assets. Search Albany, also known as MapGeo, allows you to click on your property to find out your trash pickup day, access your tax bill, and find the value of your home as well as find contact information for your Common Council Member and Police Neighborhood Engagement Officer. By clicking on the “Themes” buttons, you can find out more about cultural resources as well as locate historic districts, nearby green space, zoning boundaries, neighborhood associations, and more. As a Google-based map, it also helps you to visualize your neighborhood with a street view, get driving directions, click on bus stops for schedules, and create custom maps to share with others.
2. Property Maintenance, Including Trash and Recycling (For more detail, see DGS’s new information portal: www.AlbanyNeighborhoods.com) How must I maintain my property? All properties and buildings must be kept free of conditions that are unsightly or unsafe. Each property owner is required to maintain their property to the curb or street, keeping sidewalks and planting strips free of weeds, debris and obstructions. If you are concerned about a property, or an empty lot is overgrown, or there is an accumulation of weeds, trash, debris, junk or animal feces, use SeeClickFix or call the Department of General Services at (518) 434-CITY (2489). If the debris is not considered a health or safety hazard, property owners will be posted and will have five days to clean it up. If the debris is considered a hazard, DGS will clean it up and bill the property owners. For these other public nuisance conditions, contact the Department of Buildings & Regulatory Compliance at (518) 434-5995: • Buildings without proper permits, which must be displayed in windows • Dilapidated signs or structures, including sheds, garages and fences • Signs advertising a business that is no longer there • Major vehicle repair activity, including auto body work, in residential areas • Overcrowding of homes or apartments or illegal units in a home • Construction or power equipment noise before 7 a.m. or after 10 p.m. • Vehicles stored on property planting strips and in alleys instead of in residents’ off-street parking areas; if vehicles are stored on streets, contact the Albany Parking Authority (CustomerService@ParkAlbany.com /(518) 434-8886) Where do I report graffiti? Graffiti can be reported through SeeClickFix or DGS at (518) 434-CITY (2489). Where do I report a vacant building? Reporting vacant buildings and their condition in a timely manner is important in preventing properties from deteriorating, which hurts a property and a neighborhood. Report vacant buildings to Sam Wells, the City of Albany Neighborhood Stabilization Coordinator, at email@example.com or (518) 694-4813 so the City can keep an accurate count of them and pursue issues and policies to decrease their numbers. Report code violations, such as a broken window or staircase, or a hole in a siding or roof, to SeeClickFix or the Department of Buildings & Regulatory Compliance at firstname.lastname@example.org or (518) 434-5995. If the vacant property is overgrown or has a sidewalk that has not been cleared of snow, contact the Department of General Services at email@example.com or (518) 434-CITY (2489). If it is clear a vacant building is owned by the Albany County Land Bank (their sign will be on the building), report any code issues, complaints, or interest in purchasing the property to the Land Bank at firstname.lastname@example.org or (518) 407-0309. What are the rules around trash pickup? Albany’s Department of General Services collects trash weekly, including holidays, from residential dwellings with four or fewer units. All others, including mixed-occupancy buildings, must contract for private collection. Trash should be placed curbside between 4:30 p.m. and midnight the day prior to pickup. Excessive quantities of trash are subject to a bill and a fine. Large household items such as furniture, mattresses and toilets may be placed at the curb in limited quantities. The same is true of a small number of trash bags. If you are placing such items curbside, please notify DGS at (518) 434-CITY (2489) during normal business hours at least 24 hours prior to your collection day. Do I have to separate my recyclables? Residents can put all their recyclables in a single-stream recycling cart or bin that is provided for free by the City. Recyclables are picked up once a week on the same day that trash is picked up. DGS also sponsors paper shredding and book recycling events two times a year. Check albanynyrecycles.com for dates and details. What should I do with my yard waste, such as branches, grass and leaves? From spring to fall, Albany residents can place their yard waste curbside in compostable bags. Branches up to four feet long can be placed curbside, but they must be bundled and tied. Albany turns this yard waste in to compost, mulch and woodchips, which are free to Albany residents for use in landscaping or home gardens. For more information, visit albanynyrecycles.com. What do I do with hazardous waste or electronics? New York State law forbids residents from disposing electronics or hazardous waste in the trash, curbside or in landfills. These include phones, computers, game consoles, TVs, motor oil, light bulbs, batteries, cleaning products, paints, pesticides, and more (for a complete list, visit albanynyrecycles.com). Electronics and hazardous waste can also be disposed at hazardous waste and electronics drop-off events throughout the year at the Rapp Road Landfill. To participate in these drop-off events, you must pre-register online by visiting albanyrecycles.com or by calling DGS at (518) 434-CITY (2489). Electronics can also be dropped off at DGS at 1 Richard J. Conners Blvd. Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.