Kids will tackle trash this summer with “Clean Streets = Clean Beaches” campaign

July 10, 2013 Editorial Staff
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It was a hot, sunny morning on Tuesday, July 9 when a host of New York City agencies and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency came together in Coney Island to launch the 2013 “Clean Streets = Clean Beaches” Campaign in front of MCU Park, home of the Brooklyn Cyclones.

Since the early 1990s, the city’s Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), in partnership with its sister agencies in the city and the federal government, has sponsored the “Clean Streets = Clean Beaches” operation, a public information and beach clean-up program to improve the cleanliness and aesthetics of city beaches by reducing littering on streets and in parks.

Among its highlights, the agencies will marshal city teens who are working through the Summer Youth Employment Program to help clean waterfront properties affected by Hurricane Sandy – which hit 254 days prior to the press conference.

Carter Strickland, DEP commissioner, emphasized that New York City has “vibrant waterways” and the “best sanitation anywhere.

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“New York waterways are cleaner today than they have been in generations and our beaches are open for the public to enjoy. With our partners in both city and federal government, we will continue to highlight the critical link between clean streets and clean water so that beaches remain safe, clean, and enjoyable for all New Yorkers,” said Strickland.

Department of Sanitation Commissioner John Doherty added, “Litter on our streets today can end up on our beaches tomorrow. When everyone does their part, we can all look forward to a clean and beautiful New York City for years to come.”

Emphasizing the importance of properly disposing of litter to reduce the amount of trash sent to landfills, Doherty also announced that in the next few years more recycling baskets for metal, glass, plastic and paper will be located on city street corners.

Department of Youth and Community Development Deputy Commissioner Suzanne Lynn focused on the efforts that the city’s young people will make in July and August, along with help from DEP.

“They are learning the value of hard work and doing constructive things with their time over the summer,” said Lynn. “It’s a real win-win situation for everyone, for the people of New York and for these youth.”

Joan Leary Matthews, Director of EPA Region 2’s Clean Water Division, said the purpose of the campaign is “to take pride in the community and take care of the community.”

Matthews urged, “We don’t want to harm the beach’s ecosystem. We’ve got the ability and responsibility to keep our beaches clean. Taking a moment to make sure that trash is disposed of properly can make a positive impact wherever you live.”

This summer, “Clean Streets = Clean Beaches” posters will be displayed at area beaches and on approximately 2,000 Sanitation vehicles citywide. Throughout the summer, DEP will also be giving away thousands of reusable tote bags at beaches that people can use instead of disposable plastic bags.

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