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$14.5M Allocated to Clean Up Public Spaces Across the City

The funding will facilitate the addition of 200 new workers to the New York City Department of Sanitation.
New York City Department of Satiation commissioner Jessica Tisch speaks during the funding announcement on Nov. 10. Photo: New York City Office of the Mayor.

The city is allocating $14.5 million to improve street cleaning and revitalize its public spaces.

On Nov. 10, Mayor Eric Adams and representatives from the New York City Department of Sanitation, the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation and the Department of Transportation announced the new funding initiative.

The ‘Get Stuff Clean’ initiative is part of the Adams administration’s Blueprint for New York City’s Economic Recovery and will see $14.5 million invested to achieve faster and more reliable cleaning of every corner of the city.

Last year, the number of 311 complaints of rats and litter in Brooklyn nearly doubled from 26,000 in 2020 to 45,000 in 2021.

“New Yorkers have had enough: We want clean streets free of rodents and pests. I applaud these concrete actions to directly respond to the top concerns of New Yorkers,” said New York City Council Member Sandy Nurse.

“A clean city increases public safety and our quality of life. Today's announcement marks a critical step in addressing the chronic under-resourcing and poor interagency coordination in keeping certain areas of our parks, roadways and green spaces clean,” Nurse said.

Nurse represents parts of Bushwick, Cypress Hills, Brownsville, East New York and Ocean Hill.

“When our streets are clean, we take pride in our neighborhoods, and when we’re proud of our neighborhoods, we take better care of our communities and the people we share them with,” Brooklyn Borough President Antonio Reynoso said.

“I’m so thrilled the Mayor’s Office and our commissioners for DSNY, NYC Parks, and DOT are working together on this initiative that will not only mean cleaner streets, but more jobs too. It’s investments like these that build the foundation for safe, healthy, and beloved communities in Brooklyn and all across this city.”

The New Funding will Facilitate the Following:

Additional Workers

The funding will allow the city to hire 200 new DSNY workers across five boroughs. Additional evening shifts will also be added for hot spot cleaning. Funding will also be specifically directed toward additional rat mitigation.

Increased Enforcement of Illegal Dumping

Through the new initiative, the city is expanding its camera enforcement to catch individuals who are illegally dumping garbage. Individuals caught dumping garbage will face a $4,000 fine and vehicle impounds.

Sewer Gate Maintenance

A new crew of 50 staff members will inspect and clean city sewer grates. Clean, clear and unclogged sewer grates minimize flooding and improve the functionality of the sewer system.

Targeted Cleaning of Neglected Areas

The initiative will create a new unit in the DSNY called the Targeted Neighborhood Taskforce. The task force will develop a schedule to clean neglected areas of the city that have previously never had dedicated resources.

Litter Basket Servicing

DSNY staff will service litter baskets at the entrances of bridges and along the perimeters of city parks.

This is the second phase of the project, and will specifically cover additional baskets at some of the city’s most highly trafficked tourist areas.

Phase one of the litter basket service plan went into effect on July 1. Since that time, the city is reporting a 55% reduction in litter basket complaints. This brings complaints back in line with pre-pandemic levels.

Cleaning of Highway Ramps

The city is teaming up with DOT to facilitate regular cleanings of bridges, park edges and highway ramps. This practice was defunded ahead of the pandemic.

“Mayor Adams’ timely redirecting of funds and city resources will help address unhealthy, unsightly street and sidewalk conditions in neighborhoods across New York City,” said New York State Senator Roxanne J. Persaud.

Persaud represents parts of Canarsie, East New York, Brownsville, Mill Basin, Sheepshead Bay, Bergen Beach, Marine Park, Flatlands, Ocean Hill and Starrett City.

“DSNY, NYC Parks and DOT have responded to countless illegal dumping calls in my district and, unfortunately, these incidents continue to occur. Cleaner public spaces greatly improve quality of life.” 

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