Noise From Juice Cleanse Factory Is the Pits, Neighbors Say

By Jeanmarie Evelly on March 19, 2014 7:41am 

 The BluePrint Juice factory in Long Island City, which is next to an apartment building, has garnered noise complaints from neighbors.
The BluePrint Juice factory in Long Island City, which is next to an apartment building, has garnered noise complaints from neighbors.
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DNAinfo/Jeanmarie Evelly; Facebook/BluePrintCleanse

LONG ISLAND CITY  — BluePrint Juice is a runaway hit with the juice-cleanse set but people who live near its Queens factory say noise from the site is putting the squeeze on their sleep cycles.

BluePrint, which sells cold-pressed fruit and vegetable juices at Whole Foods and elsewhere nationwide, runs a facility at 48-55 36th St., where its neighbors say workers empty dumpsters overnight and unload trailers with forklifts as early as 6 a.m.

"The windows are closed right now, but when the windows are open — forget about it,” said Larry Lembo, 63, who has lived at the rear of a building overlooking the BluePrint site since 1974. "It's like it's in your backyard."

Another longtime tenant of Lembo's building said the noise from BluePrint, which locals said moved into the 36th Street a manufacturing zone about two years ago, jars her from her sleep.

"It's something you don't get used to," the neighbor said, declining to give her name.

Lembo took his complaints about BluePrint — whose founder Zoë Sakoutis was named one of Crain's New York Business's "40 Under 40" last year — to Queens Community Board 2 and the 108th Precinct.

Commanding officer Capt. Brian Hennessy said the NYPD hasn't issued any noise summonses at the property, but there have been 22 complaints about noise related to garbage pickups at the site since January, according to the Department of Environmental Protection.

Hennessy said police have spoken to BluePrint and its waste removal company, Action Carting, about keeping noisy operations contained to more reasonable hours. Both were receptive to making adjustments, he said.

The DEP said it also reached out to Action Carting about making pickups before midnight. The department will be "monitoring the situation closely," a spokeswoman said.

The Business Integrity Commission does not generally designate hours for when private haulers can operate, nor does the Department of Sanitation. But the Sanitation Dept. does set rules on for how long commercial merchants can put out waste before it gets picked up, according to its regulations.

A spokeswoman for Action Carting said the company works around those parameters and with the needs of its 15,000 clients — many of whom require evening pickups — to arrange its schedules, saying they try to consolidate their routes to limit gas emissions.

"We're very conscious of noise. We try to do our best," the spokeswoman said, saying the company plans to re-evaluate BluePrint's account to "see what we can do to possibly get them on another route."

A BluePrint spokeswoman declined to comment about the gripes.

Lembo also reached out to BluePrint and said he was also told Action Carting would adjust their pickup hours and try to limit overnight ruckus. Morning noise got "considerably better" after Lembo's call, he said, but garbage trucks were still hauling away trash at night.

A pump repair company previously used the facility and contained noise to daylight hours, an arrangement Lembo said he'd like to see again.

"I'm not looking for miracles. All we're looking for is from 9 o'clock at night to 8 o'clock in the morning, some quality of life," he said.

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