With trash piling up in Queens neighborhoods since the NYC Department of Sanitation’s budget was slashed by more than $106 million due to the financial crisis caused by the COVID-19 shutdown, Councilman Daniel Dromm secured funding for additional cleaning services on the streets and sidewalks Jackson Heights and Elmhurst, two of the hardest-hit neighborhoods during the pandemic.
Dromm allocated $160,000 to the Association of Community Employment Programs for the Homeless, Inc.(ACE) for 128 hours a supplemental cleaning services each week.
ACE employees are now regularly sweeping community streets and sidewalks, periodically removing taped flyers from lampposts, and emptying trash bins to prevent them from overflowing. ACE has resumed cleaning services in Jackson Heights and Elmhurst while wearing personal protective equipment and adhering to social distancing practices to keep residents and workers safe.
“These thousands of dollars in funding mean a cleaner Jackson Heights and Elmhurst for everyone,” Dromm said. “We are in the middle of a financial crisis. The restoration of these dollars was not easy. I fought long and hard to ensure that my district receives the funding we need to increase these important services. I want to thank ACE for their impeccable work which keeps our streets and sidewalks clean.”
ACE employees will clean along Roosevelt Avenue and 37th Avenue from 69th Street to 81st Street; 73rd Street through 77th Street between Roosevelt Avenue and 37th Avenue; Broadway from 72nd Street to Elmhurst Avenue; and Diversity Plaza. Dromm also secured $30,000 that will enable the NYC Department of Sanitation to conduct additional weekend garbage pick-ups along Broadway from 69th Street to Queens Boulevard in Elmhurst, and additional Saturday pick-ups along 37th Avenue and Roosevelt Avenue in Jackson Heights.
“These additional pick-ups will help reduce trash bin overflows in my district’s busy commercial corridors during hours that see high foot traffic,” Dromm said. “Overflowing trash bins are not only unsightly, they attract rats, sicken our pets and wildlife, and contribute to water contamination. There is no denying that strewn trash has had an adverse impact on our environmental and public health. The de Blasio administration has made significant cuts to the Department of Sanitation’s budget, creating an urgent need for these dollars. The bottom line is this: my constituents need and deserve a clean neighborhood. The funding I secured makes that a reality.”
Founded in 1992, ACE works with homeless men and women across New York City, providing job training, work experience, and a lifetime support network to help program participants achieve their goals and establish economic independence. To date, the Long Island City-based organization has helped 3,000 New Yorkers overcome homelessness, incarceration, and addiction to find full-time jobs and start new lives.