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City to Ramp Up Sanitation Efforts to Keep Streets Trash-Free Amid Budget Cuts

Garbage Can on Greenpoint and 47th Avenue in Sunnyside (Photo: Queens Post)

Sept. 16, 2020 By Allie Griffin

The city will ramp up its sanitation efforts to keep streets trash-free after having cut the Department of Sanitation’s budget by $106 million.

Residents have been complaining of overflowing trash bins since the Sanitation budget took a hit and the department’s commissioner Kathryn Garcia even resigned over the cuts.

The city will reallocate a portion of the DSNY budget to support litter basket pickup on city streets, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Tuesday. The funds will restore about 65 sanitation trucks tasked with basket collection across the city — a 24 percent increase from current levels.

The extra trucks will focus on 27 neighborhoods hard hit by COVID-19 as well as additional areas that have seen increased pedestrian traffic. In Queens, the neighborhoods that will get the extra service include Briarwood, Corona, Jamaica, Queensbridge and the Rockaways.

“New Yorkers deserve clean, safe communities and with this announcement today we are continuing to deliver on that promise,” de Blasio said.

City Hall didn’t specify where the funds were reallocated from.

Last week, DSNY Commissioner Garcia blasted cuts to basic trash collection services as she announced her resignation.

“At a time when protecting public health is of the essence, cutting basic Sanitation services is unconscionable,” she wrote in her resignation letter.

DSNY’s efforts will also be supported by other city-led initiatives.

The EDC will restart the “CleaNYC” initiative in partnership with the Doe Fund to provide supplemental cleaning services on streets and in parks through the end of the year. The Doe Fund provides employment, career training and social services to homeless and formerly incarcerated individuals.

The City will partner with community-based organizations, elected officials and the private sector to sponsor community cleanups and mobilize volunteers to collect litter on streets and in parks, as well.

“Our sanitation professionals have been heroes throughout this crisis,” de Blasio said. “They deserve all the support they can get in their fight to keep New York City clean.”

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