Starbuck’s Moves Quickly to Resolve Rat/Trash Issues – ANC Oks Liquor License
by Larry Janezich
Tuesday night, ANC6B approved a liquor license for Starbuck’s 3rd and PA Avenue outlet. Commissioners were impressed by what they considered Starbucks’ good faith efforts to address concerns raised by neighbors. Last Thursday, the ANC’s ABC Committee took no position on the request in light of the heavy turnout of neighbors who complained about Starbucks’ trash management practices which they claimed cause much of the significant rat problem in the neighborhood. See CHC post here: http://bit.ly/1HzcEtn
On Sunday afternoon, Starbucks District Manager Ronny Correa told a group of neighbors of its 3rd and Pennsylvania, SE, outlet that Starbucks corporate counsel had “misspoke” at last Thursday’s ANC ABC committee where the coffee shop’s request for an alcohol license was being considered. In fact, Correa said, apologetically, “cost is not an issue for us,” regarding resolution of the rodent-attracting trash issues drawing complaints from neighbors living near 3rd and PA Avenue. In addition, he said the claim that trash was being picked up six days a week was also in error. Trash is actually being picked up three days a week and recycling three days a week.
The Sunday afternoon meeting had been coordinated by ANC commissioner Jennifer Samolyk. In addition to some eight neighbors, Commissioners Jayaraman, Oldenburg, and Burger also attended.
The regional facilities manager who accompanied Correa to the meeting outlined what Starbucks was prepared to commit to in order to get ANC6B support for the license application. These included:
Switching out the dumpsters for newer models
7 day a week pick up of trash and recycling
Monthly (instead of quarterly) power washing of the trash storage area (or as needed weather permitting)
Pest control inspections daily until no rodent activity is seen, then three times a week inspections until no activity is seen, then inspections once a week until no activity is seen, and then an inspection every 2 weeks.
Internal training for employees regarding trash disposal and frequent checks of the trash storage area throughout the day
In addition, the company is looking into installation of a trash compactor.
The company expressed confidence they can solve the problem without indoor trash storage, but is still exploring all options. They said that if the measures did not resolve the issues the company would consider indoor trash storage when the license comes back for renewal before the ANC in March of 2016.
The agreement reflects another success in the efforts of ANC6B and organized neighbors to bring best operating practices to restaurants adjacent to residential areas. It also raises the bar for the three nearby Mendelsohn-owned restaurants which neighbors say generate rodent problems. The Mendelsohn’s licenses come up for renewal next March.