NEW YORK CITY (WABC) — New York City Department of Sanitation crews are on the front lines of a new initiative to clean up the city.
Mayor Eric Adams calls the new push “Get Stuff Clean.”
It allocates $14.5 million to clean up 1,000 dirty sites across the city. And it appears those DSNY crews are already having an impact.
Among their first stops Monday morning was an area along the Cross Bronx Expressway near Webster Avenue.
“27 years I’ve looked at this,” said resident Jamilla Campbell. “This is like the major exit on the highway.”
And this morning, at long last, the garbage in what DSNY Commissioner Jessica Tisch calls a “no man’s land” finally got cleaned up.
Areas like this, “for which cleaning has been unfunded or underfunded or there’s been a lack of jurisdictional clarity on responsibility,” Tisch said, are now being cleaned up by the Department of Sanitation, which has taken over responsibility.
The “Get Stuff Clean” effort also includes hiring 200 additional sanitation workers; increasing waste back and servicing; stepping up rat mitigation efforts; and expanding camera enforcement of illegal dumping.
Community activist Sidney Flores shared photos with Eyewitness News of illegal dumping going on in his neighborhood.
“A lot of store owners do it because they don’t want to pay the private contractor to pick up their garbage” he said. “They figure that’s a bill. That’s one less bill for them, but it should be one big headache for them when they get caught.”
Tisch responds that the city is adding 200 additional cameras citywide to target illegal dumpers.
“This is building on a pilot program we started this summer to put up 50 cameras in known illegal dumping locations and guess what? The cameras work,” she said.
WATCH: Derick Waller’s complete live interview with DSNY commissioner
“People come to our city – generally out-of-staters – they come, they dump their trash here and think no cares,” she added. “But I care. The mayor cares. The Department of Sanitation cares. And finally, with these illegal dumping cameras, we have a strategy that works.”
The city says the illegal dumpers shown in Flores’ pictures had their van impounded and were ordered to pay a $4,000 fine.
Flores is optimistic. “I’ll be observing and seeing if it’s true or not,” he told Eyewitness News.
Adams has vowed that as result of this new effort, America’s largest city will soon be its cleanest as well.
“A clean city is going to impact our recovery,” he said. “And New Yorkers deserve to have a clean city.”
The mayor stresses this will not be a one-time clean up, that the city is determined to keep things clean.
How that will happen remains to be seen. NYC is currently facing a massive budget deficit.
But Adams insists this is a priority and that city officials will find the money.
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