Teens conduct litter sweep of Bensonhurst streets

Colton, Treyger help organize clean-up

September 1, 2015 By Paula Katinas Brooklyn Daily Eagle
The volunteers gathered at the United Progressive Democratic Club on Bay 25th Street before setting out to sweep litter from the sidewalks on nearby 86th Street. Photo courtesy of Assemblymember William Colton’s office
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More than 100 Bensonhurst teenagers are spending the last weeks of summer vacation before school re-opens sprucing up the sidewalks of their neighborhood and encouraging their fellow residents to do the same.

As part of that effort, the teens took part in a “Speak-Up & Clean-Up” event organized by Assemblymember William Colton, Councilmember Mark Treyger and 47th Assembly District Democratic district leaders Nancy Tong and Charles Ragusa on a recent Saturday.

Colton, Treyger, Tong and Ragusa conduct “Speak-Up & Clean-Up” events periodically throughout the year in the Bensonhurst-Gravensend area, organizing volunteers of students to sweep away litter and distribute informational fliers to residents and merchants to urge them to take pride in their communities and keep sidewalks tidy.

Volunteer Kenny Zheng mapped out the areas to be targeted by the volunteers. The streets that were cleaned included a long stretch of the 86th Street shopping district running from 14th Avenue to 26th Avenue.

The volunteers, who were contacted by Zheng through emails and social media platforms, also swept litter from the sidewalks on Bay Parkway between 82nd Street and Shore Parkway; Bath Avenue between 18th Avenue and 24th Avenue; and 18th Avenue between 84th Street and Cropsey Avenue.

The fliers handed out by the high schoolers were printed in multiple languages and informed residents and businesses owners about New York City Department of Sanitation rules on litter and the disposal of trash.

“The purpose behind events organized by our ‘Speak-Up and Clean-Up’ campaign is to inform people about proper trash disposal and to keep our neighborhood clean,” Colton (D-Gravesend-Bensonhurst) said in a statement. “The amount of volunteers once again demonstrated how the neighborhood can come together. Our volunteers explained to people passing by, as well as local business owners, to do their part because we’re encouraging everyone to take part in our efforts to keep the neighborhood clean.”

Treyger (D-Coney Island-Gravesend-Bensonhurst), who was involved in clean-up efforts in Gravesend and Bensonhurst even before he was elected to the City Council in 2013, said the effort is about more than just sweeping away litter.

“Every New Yorker deserves safe, clean streets, which are a sign of a thriving, caring and welcoming community,” he said. “It has been great to see so many teens and community members get involved and give back and it has had a tremendous impact on our neighborhood. We must continue with the same determination that has gotten us this far to make sure our neighborhoods can remain clean.”

The volunteers included students from Stuyvesant High School’s Red Cross Club and Key Club; Midwood High School’s Key Club; Brooklyn Technical High School’s Red Cross Club and Key Club; Edward R. Murrow’s High School’s Key Club; Midwood High School’s Key Club; and Coney Island Prep.

The Dept. of Sanitation supplied tools, gloves and trash bags to assist with the clean-up effort, Colton said.

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