NEW YORK (PIX11) — A sweeping initiative to clean up city streets kicked off Monday with an announcement from Mayor Eric Adams.
Speaking in the South Bronx, Adams heralded tens of millions of dollars in new funding earmarked for the Department of Sanitation in the city budget for the new fiscal year, just in time to combat the annual aromatic assault brought on by summer heat and sitting garbage.
“We have heard the complaints loud and clear; we need to get trash off our streets and kick littering to the curb, and, today, we are throwing those conditions in the bin,” the mayor said in part. “Sanitation workers want and deserve the tools to clean up this town and revitalize the city they love, and the tens of millions of dollars invested in this budget will let them ‘Get Stuff Done’ for our neighborhoods.”
The largest expenditure is $22 million in funding for increased litter basket pick-up service. Baskets citywide will now be emptied approximately 50,000 more times every week than they previously were.
Another $7.5 million will go towards targeted cleaning initiatives aimed at areas that are historic grounds for illegal dumping and persistent littering, the city said. And an additional $4.5 million will restore staffing at the DSNY’s Lot Cleaning Unit to pre-pandemic levels. That group will focus on tidying up vacant lots, which the city said are largely located in underserved communities.
Those efforts are in addition to three other new initiatives that were previously announced. On July 5, street sweeping will return to pre-pandemic frequency, meaning that city car owners must once again move their vehicles to accommodate DSNY. A five-borough pilot is also being conducted to test new containerization methods that might look less unsightly and be less prone to attracting pests. Additionally, new equipment and staff has been made available to sweep protected bike lanes at least once per week.
New Yorkers with troublesome trash conditions in their neighborhoods can call 311 to file a report.