Queens electeds applaud city’s plan for increased DSNY services

Department of Sanitation Commissioner Edward Grayson, a Middle Village resident, will have the resources to tackle the city’s garbage problem. (Courtesy of the mayor’s office)

With wind-blown trash creating eyesores in every corner of the borough, Queens elected officials are welcoming City Hall’s initiatives to restore the Department of Sanitation (DSNY) services that were cut during the COVID-19 economic crisis. The plan includes an increase in dedicated litter basket service by more than 100 trucks per week and restores funding for Sunday trash receptacle pickups.

“The city’s decision to restore Sunday litter basket service is welcome news,” Councilman Peter Koo said. “Last year’s service cuts left our litter baskets overflowing and bags piled up on street corners, especially on the weekends along our busiest commercial corridors. As the weather gets warmer and more people spend their time outdoors, additional Sunday service means cleaner streets and an improved quality of life for all New Yorkers.”

DSNY has also created an all-new Precision Cleaning Initiative, with borough-based teams to conduct targeted cleanings of litter conditions, illegal dumping and overflowing garbage baskets. Additionally, DSNY introduced its new Community Clean-Up Vans to support neighborhood cleanups across the city.

“Last year’s budget cuts to sanitation hit my district hard, which impacted our residents, small businesses and visitors alike,” Councilwoman Adrienne Adams said. “Restoring baseline funding for litter basket service, the launch of the Precision Cleaning Initiative and the new Community Clean-Up Vans will go a long way toward making our streets and commercial corridors cleaner and healthier for everyone. Our communities deserve clean streets and improved quality of life as we recover from this pandemic.”

Councilman I. Daneek Miller allocated funding last winter for additional DSNY efforts to clean up overflowing trash bins along some of southeast Queens’ most heavily trafficked corridors.

“During the pandemic and its aftermath, we saw firsthand how vital DSNY service is in maintaining the cleanliness of our commercial corridors and city streets,” Miller said. “With the worst of the pandemic now behind us, we are more than looking forward to the restoration of full service and ensuring that our communities are kept clean, and residents are able to once again enjoy the quality of life they deserve.”

Garbage-strewn streets also plagued Corona, Elmhurst and Jackson Heights, neighborhoods that were among the hardest-hit during the pandemic.

“A clean neighborhood is about having quality of life and throughout this pandemic, our community together with my office and partners like DSNY and ACE have worked towards reducing the garbage issues,” Councilman Francisco Moya said. “The restoration of funding and the launch of these new initiatives are much needed and will ensure that our streets are a place New Yorkers can be proud of, especially across the hardest-hit neighborhoods. This is one step in how we improve quality of life for the most vulnerable communities.”

Councilman Robert Holden was pleased with the new plan.

“These new initiatives are a step in the right direction toward restoring our city,” Holden said. “New York’s Strongest do a great job of keeping our streets clean under the leadership of Middle Village’s own [DSNY] Commissioner Edward Grayson and they should have all the funding and tools they need to keep our neighborhoods clean and healthy.”

Grayson, who grew up in Ridgewood, delivered his own message to residents.

“New York City is getting back on its feet, and New Yorkers deserve to place their feet on clean streets,” Grayson said. “Restoration of baseline funding for basket service, the community cleanup vans and PCI mean more ways for Sanitation and our neighbors across the city to work together. Use litter baskets properly, for small items like coffee cups — never for household or business trash — and call us to report an urgent issue or schedule a community cleanup.”