NEW YORK CITY — Pesky piles of trash became a common pandemic sight in New York City — and a new effort to reverse the growing garbage.
City officials this week said they’ll restore funding to 65 Department of Sanitation litter basket trucks serving neighborhoods especially affected by the coronavirus.
They also plan to restart CleaNYC, a program that provides added cleaning services to neighborhood streets and parks, as well as support volunteer groups to clean roads and green spaces.
“We're going to keep doing everything we can to get the most done from the public sector, but everyone else who is contributing, it makes a huge difference,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said Wednesday.
The anti-trash effort comes amid increased scrutiny on quality of life issues in New York City as the pandemic lingers and city services suffer from budget cuts.
Business leaders recently urged de Blasio to take action on those matters or else risk the city’s recovery from the coronavirus crisis. The city’s sanitation Commissioner Kathryn Garcia recently blasted “unconscionable” cuts to her department when she tendered her resignation.
Garbage and litter complaints from the city’s parks doubled over the summer following budget cuts to that department.
De Blasio said “additional changes” to the budget allowed the city to restore some of those services.