Councilmembers embrace Cleanup NYC Initiative

Funding put toward sweeping litter off sidewalks

November 2, 2015 By Paula Katinas Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Councilmember Mark Treyger, shown with a volunteer, organized a cleanup effort with Assemblymember Bill Colton on 86th Street in Bensonhurst last year. Photo by Priscilla Consolo
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Clean, litter-free sidewalks provide a boost to the city’s economy, according to two Brooklyn City Council members, who recently announced the start of new cleanup projects in their districts.

Councilmembers Mark Treyger and David Greenfield both insisted that their cleanup efforts are more than just cosmetic.

“This is a win-win for both residents and small businesses, which rely on clean and attractive commercial corridors that are enticing for potential customers,” Treyger said when he announced a new cleanup project under the Cleanup NYC Initiative on Oct. 26.

The Cleanup NYC Initiative is a program that provides funding to each council district for litter sweeps, graffiti removal and other efforts designed to make streets and sidewalks tidier.

Treyger (D-Coney Island-Gravesend-parts of Bensonhurst), who is the co-chairman of the council’s Brooklyn delegation, said he has allocated more than $130,000 to clean 86th Street and 18th Avenue in Bensonhurst, Avenue U in Gravesend and Mermaid Avenue in Coney Island.

“The Cleanup NYC Initiative is one of the most successful initiatives to come out of the City Council,” Treyger said. “Cleanliness is one of the top neighborhood complaints my staff and I receive, and to be able to directly respond to that by beautifying our neighborhood with scheduled cleanups is something we can all be proud of.”

Under the program, which began Nov. 1, cleaning services will take place four times a week on 86th Street, between 18th and 26th avenues, and three times a week on Avenue U, between McDonald Avenue and Ocean Parkway.

Four days a week, cleaners from nonprofit organizations will be busy on Mermaid Avenue, between Stillwell Avenue and West 33rd Street, as well as the streets between Mermaid and Surf avenues from Stillwell Avenue to West 19th Street.

The work will be done by men and women employed by two nonprofit organizations, the Doe Fund and the Wildcat Service Corporation

Business owners praised the new cleanup campaign.

“I am really happy that 86th Street will finally be clean and safe for the entire community. It has been a long time that we have waited for this, and we are all very excited about this,” said Josephine Giordano, owner of Lenny’s Pizzeria.

Treyger has organized cleanup efforts in the past with Assemblymember Bill Colton (D-Gravesend-Bensonhurst). Treyger and Colton, working with civic activist Priscilla Consolo, have organized groups of volunteers, mostly local high school students, to sweep litter off sidewalks.

Greenfield (D-Borough Park-Midwood-Bensonhurst), who also funds cleanup projects in his district under the Cleanup NYC Initiative, announced the launch of an expanded cleanup effort on Oct. 21.

Greenfield is partnering with the nonprofit group Association of Community Employment Programs for the Homeless on a project to sweep the district’s sidewalks and empty its trash bins. 

With funding secured by Greenfield, the following streets are slated for cleaning: 16th Avenue between 44th and 54th streets, Avenue J between East 10th and East 18th streets, Coney Island Avenue from Avenue I to Avenue K, Avenue M between McDonald Avenue and Ocean Parkway, and Kings Highway between McDonald Avenue and Ocean Parkway.

Cleaner streets enhance the quality of life for residents, Greenfield said.

“Our district is one of the most beautiful in the city — our streets should be too. Thanks to this new program, our major avenues will now be much cleaner,” Greenfield said.  

Greenfield is the architect of the Cleanup NYC Initiative.

Greenfield has previously financed programs to improve cleanliness along the commercial corridors in his district.

Last year, Greenfield targeted the commercial strips of 13th, 16th and 18th avenues in Borough Park.

State Sen. Simcha Felder (D-Borough Park-Midwood) currently sponsors cleaning services on 13th, 16th and 18th avenues through a program called Project Sweep. 

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