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Finding an apartment without the nasty trash compactor odors
April 6, 2014 11:37 AM   Subscribe

This is a question about NYC real estate, specifically about a building maintenance issue. After many years of renting, I am in the market for a co-op apartment in the five boroughs of NYC. There is a problem with my current building that I am willing to tolerate as a tenant that would be a complete deal-breaker as an owner The issue is this:

. . the trash compactor (and its related garbage chute) are poorly maintained and often smell quite awful. I am on the second floor of my building; my door is right next to the opening of the trash chute. There have been times where I've come home from work and the disgusting odor will hit me as soon as I've gotten off the elevator. Closing the door to my apartment behind me offers no relief. The stink completely permeates my house. This is unacceptable.

How do I avoid this problem in my next building? Do I need to write off post-war (in my case, a mid-60s building) buildings? Is it a matter of finding a competently managed building? (And if so, how would I be able to determine this in the initial stages of finding an apartment?) Or is this an issue that crops up from time to time in all buildings in New York City, one that I'll have to learn to deal with no matter where I go?
posted by jason's_planet to Home & Garden (6 answers total)
 
Many buildings in NYC (my own post-war co-op included) don't have trash compactors at all. At the very least this option is available to you.
posted by telegraph at 11:45 AM on April 6


It's definitely not something that happens all the time. You should be able to get a tour of the common areas when you look at apartments; the best thing to do is just investigate thoroughly before committing. Generally speaking, if the chute is in a separate garbage room, you shouldn't smell anything at all from the hallways.
posted by snickerdoodle at 12:59 PM on April 6 [2 favorites]


My prewar co-op has a compactor which is no longer in use. And the previous building I lived in as a renter had a compactor which did not smell. So I would guess that you just got a badly managed building.
posted by computech_apolloniajames at 1:26 PM on April 6 [1 favorite]


You also may just have the luck of being closer to the end of the shute. The only trash shute I've seen had been inside a closet to help minimize smell. Also Some things were prohibited by management though who knows if the rules were actually followed.
posted by AlexiaSky at 5:07 PM on April 6


Agreed that this doesn't happen all the time. We have a chute that goes into a compactor in the basement and the access to it is inside a trash room by the elevator. It rarely smells, and only has in the past when someone left trash in the trash room rather than dropping it down the chute. Just check out the common areas while you're looking at the building, and ask specifically to look at the trash/recycling areas.
posted by bedhead at 8:09 PM on April 6


Thanks, everyone!
posted by jason's_planet at 5:49 PM on April 8


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