**FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE**
July 13, 2012
Contact: Aja Worthy-Davis (212) 788-7081
COUNCIL MEMBER LETITIA JAMES COMMENTS ON NEED FOR SUPPLEMENTAL COLLECTION IN OUTER BOROUGHS
(New York, NY)— “A growing concern in the effort to keep New York City streets clean is the lack of supplemental sanitation collection from public litter baskets in the outer boroughs, which is a service that is routinely provided in many Manhattan neighborhoods.
The City’s Sanitation Department (DSNY) provides Manhattan commercial strips with dedicated trucks whose sole purpose is to empty street litter baskets located in those commercial districts as frequently as several times per day. In the outer boroughs, street litter baskets are serviced only as often as residential pickup occurs (in most communities 2-3 times a week). This supplemental service keeps Manhattan streets cleaner than many streets in the outer boroughs.
Supplemental collection is costly and requires considerable resources. It is not something that can or should be implemented on every block within the five boroughs. Business Improvement Districts overseeing commercial strips relieve much of the burden of street cleaning along heavily-trafficked blocks. However, there needs to be a mechanism put into place that would allow residents to report areas where street litter baskets are consistently overflowing, and that would require the department to respond quickly. This would be especially useful in the 35th District, which is home to a busy transportation hub; vibrant commercial strips; and arts, cultural, and sports attractions.
I will be working with Department of Sanitation officials to discuss this matter in the coming weeks, and I hope to move forward in spearheading necessary changes to our City sanitation system.”
In 2010, Council Sanitation Committee Chair Letitia James pushed-through a revolutionary legislative recycling package that included expanding plastic recycling, a new clothing and textile recycling program, and improved public space recycling. This represented the first significant expansion of the City’s residential recycling program since it was created in 1989.
Residents may check their recycling and sanitation pickup schedule here: http://gis.nyc.gov/gisapp/sn/sanitation.jsp