CHELSEA, Manhattan (PIX11) — A new anti-litter campaign from the Department of Sanitation is focusing attention on the cleanliness of New York City.
“There are hundreds of people on the sidewalk,” said Chelsea resident Keith Garsee. “There are cigarettes, there are tissues and gum. There’s everything on the street, and people should be responsible.”
A new proposal being introduced in the New York City Council would increase the enforcement times for litter laws on sidewalks. New York City’s sanitation regulations require property owners to clean the sidewalk and gutter areas in front of their place, which is defined as 18 inches from the curb and onto the street.
“We have invested a lot in sanitation,” said City Council member Erik Bottcher, who represents the neighborhoods around Chelsea.
He said most property owners take care of keeping their area clean, but this bill is aimed at those who litter.
“You can have all the pick-ups in the world, but if property owners aren’t maintaining the sidewalk in front of the property, we don’t have a clean city,” Bottcher said.
The legislation would expand the time that the Department of Sanitation can issue tickets for dirty sidewalks. Current law sets the ticket time from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. and again in the evening from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. The new proposal would allow inspectors to issue violations for dirty sidewalks and gutters during a business’s operating hours.
Bottcher said this is a tool for the department. He also wants to get out a message of shared responsibility to those who would litter.
“We are doing our part to clean up our neighborhoods. We have to take pride in our neighborhoods,” Bottcher said.
Garsee sees all kinds of stuff on the sidewalk and wants people to clean up their act.
“It should be on the person who’s doing it,” Garsee said.
At Chelsea Gourmet Deli on Eighth Avenue, Jay has to keep watch outside and says the problem is with the people who litter.
“There’s a bunch of people that just throw things on the street. We can’t keep looking at the street and waiting for somebody to throw something. If they change the time schedule, and sanitation inspection can be all day, there’s going to be a problem,” he said.
The city has increased funding for sanitation, including more curbside basket pick-ups.
This proposal to expand the enforcement times for dirty sidewalks has to have a hearing and then a vote would be taken.
Inspectors can issue notices for other infractions at any time during the day. The fines start at $50.