Nonprofit expands clean-up efforts in southeast Queens

By Juan Soto

City Councilman Ruben Wills (D-Jamaica) wants to clean up his district’s streets.

That is why the southeast Queens lawmaker announced that a nonprofit group will expand its efforts to provide sanitation services in some of the busiest commercial corridors of Jamaica and the surrounding areas. After all, trash has been a problem in southeast Queens for at least the last 15 years.

The nonprofit Wildcat, an organization that employs disadvantaged and hard-to-place job seekers in cleaning up neighborhoods, launched the program Clean Streets, Safe Neighborhoods, Strong Communities in April and its workforce will now pick up the litter three days a week in additional Jamaica streets.

“Wildcat has been a strong and reliable ally in my effort to keep the streets of my district waste free,” Wills said.

Workers for Wildcat will now clean up the mess along Guy R. Brewer Boulevard, Rockaway Boulevard and Sutphin Avenue, three major commercial arteries. In addition, it will expand service along Liberty Avenue, reaching 108th Street, instead of ending at Van Wyck Expressway and Lefferts Boulevard.

Wills said the nonprofit helps supplement services “provided by our city’s overburdened Sanitation Department.”

The program also includes leaf, garbage and snow removal, as well as elimination of debris from vacant lots and abandoned homes.

In a statement, David Saturn, director of Wildcat, thanked the lawmaker for his continued support.

The councilman has paved the way for “Wildcat to provide job opportunities and a path to economic independence for people with barriers, and to provide invaluable clean-up services to the community,” Saturn said.

State Assemblywoman Michele Titus (D-Far Rockaway) also expressed her support for the program.

“Wills and I share a common interest in improving the quality of life for the people of southeast Queens,” Titus said. “That means ensuring Clean Streets, Safe Neighborhoods, Strong Communities and access to open space and local parks.”

State Sen. James Sanders (D-South Ozone Park) also praised the initiative to keep southeast Queens streets clean, and thus increase the quality of life of its residents.

“The restoration and revitalization of our community depends on our collective efforts to keep our streets clean and promote safe neighborhoods by having a sense of pride and respect in our area,” Sanders said. Through the cleaning program, “we have an opportunity to improve our community and ensure our children grow up in a safe and clean environment,” he said.

Reach reporter Juan Soto by e-mail at jsoto‌@cngl‌ocal.com or by phone at (718) 260–4564.

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