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By Madina Toure

Streets in Jamaica, Kew Gardens and Kew Gardens Hills have received new trash cans, thanks to a new cleanup initiative from Councilman Rory Lancman (D-Hillcrest) and the city Department of Sanitation.

Lancman allocated $25,000 to fund 48 new trash cans and $23,000 for additional trash pickups. As part of the initiative, 24 trash cans were installed along Hillside Avenue and there will also be one extra trash pickup along the Hillside Avenue corridor.

There were also 11 trash cans installed in Briarwood and 13 along Main Street in Kew Gardens Hills.

About a year ago, Lancman’s office teamed up with the Queens Chamber of Commerce, the Greater Jamaica Development Corporation and community and business leaders to form the Jamaica Hills Partnership, a merchant association established along Parsons Boulevard to 172nd Street on Hillside Avenue. The partnership seeks to help the area access city services.

Lancman helped organize business owners, mosque leaders and residents over the past several months to create the Jamaica Hills Partnership to represent the Hillside Avenue Corridor business community.

“This is a place where people want to come, they want to shop, they want to do business, but they want to make sure that it is a nice place to shop,” he said.

Akhter Hussain, general secretary for the Jamaica Muslim Center at 85-37 168th St., commended Lancman and the Sanitation Department for kickstarting the initiative.

“Jamaica Muslim Center is proud to be partners with them. I would like to do anything they want us to do to facilitate, to help this community,” Hussain said.

Rezaul Chowdhury, owner of two area businesses, including the Apnar Pizza store, said he was happy to see a solution to the rampant garbage problem throughout the corridor.

“I’m so happy because it was too much headache for me—every day there was a lot of garbage over here,” Chowdhury said.

Community Board 8 member Fakrul Islam Delwar, owner of Fatema Grocery, praised the creation of the merchant association.

“I think (for) the first time ever, the Hillside business community got to see a councilman (who made sure) that we are represented,” Delwar said.

Reach reporter Madina Toure by e-mail at mtoure@cnglocal.com or by phone at (718) 260–4566.

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