Councilman Richards battles litter in southeast Queens and Rockaways with $260K of sanitation funding

Photo: Max Parrott/QNS

Councilman Donovan Richards announced funding on Friday that will provide local employment and sanitation efforts in his district over the next year.

The $260,000 worth of capital will be spread to workforce development organizations that do street and park cleaning. Richards split duties between four organizations so that each one covers a different geographical portion of the district. 

“I think the increase in funding is very important because it’s going to ensure that every corner of the district that did not receive funding to keep the corridor clean now has it. So we literally are getting every day business corridor,” said Richards.

Richards sees the sanitation work as an important battle in the fight against illegal dumping in the district. By providing an additional $40,000 from last year, he said he hopes to support local businesses through quality-of-life improvements that will encourage residents to patronize local businesses.

The biggest chunk of the funding will go to the Center for Employment Opportunities, which is received a $100,000. They will focus their sanitation efforts on Laurelton Rosedale, Laurelton Parkway, Merrick Boulevard and Francis Lewis. 

A $55,000 allotment will go to Wildcat, which will going to locate their efforts in Springfield Gardens. 

Association of Community Employment (ACE) program received about $40,000 and will focus on Far Rockaway.

In addition, a $35K portion will go to the Department of Sanitation, who will be tasked with trash removal seven days a week in the Rosedale and Springfield Gardens area. 

“This doesn’t mean for you to bring your personal trash to the trashcan on our boulevards,” said Richards. “It’s still a fine, and I want you to know that.”

ACE employee Dantavis Burns, 22, said that he’s in charge of maintaining the garbage cans and sidewalks of the Beach 20 area in Rockaway. He’s also been taking full advantage of the finance classes that the program offers to its participants.

“When I came in here I didn’t have nothing. But in two months I have a checking account, savings account and I’m working on getting a money marketing account,” Burns said. “I’m established, you know. Doing very well.”