Cleaning Up the Neighborhood
For months after I was first elected residents would routinely email and tweet my office pictures of litter-filled streets and sometimes even sidewalks with trash on them. Our neighborhood streets were in need of some cleaning. In the 5 and a half years I have been in office now that trend has changed. We now get people sending us photos of clean streets and clean sidewalks. Despite all the work it has taken to see this much improvement I continue to be focused on cleaning up each and every block on the Upper East Side from litter and trash.
Since 2016 we have seen improvement thanks to the 322 large covered trash cans on every corner of the district and twice a day pick up by the Department of Sanitation at our busy streets. This year, we launched an $85,000 pilot program with Fedcap’s Wildcat Service for three-person crews four days a week to sweep sidewalks and bike islands, clean gutters and drains of blockages, and remove litter from tree pits. Wildcat is cleaning where we’ve never had service before, including: First, Second, Third and Lexington Avenues as well as major cross streets at 57th, 72nd, 79th, 86th, and 96th Streets.
194 New Large Trash Cans Coming to the Upper East Side
Monday, July 1, 2019
Litter-filled sidewalks on the Upper East Side are about to get cleaner with an investment of $135,000 from Council Member Ben Kallos for 194 new large trash cans. The new large trash cans are housed in a metal case with a dome top and a small opening that prevents trash from spilling and has been reported to deter rodents. Following this investment, every corner on the Upper East Side will have a can.
“I am here to clean up the Upper East Side with larger trash cans on every corner that can prevent overflow and litter that spills onto the streets,” said Council Member Ben Kallos. “I promise a new large trash can on every corner that needs one in order to keep our streets clean. I encourage any resident whose corner needs a new trash can or even a second large trash can to reach out to our office so that we can clean up our neighborhood together.”
This on-going rollout follows a 2016 pilot that brought 38 large trash cans to certain spots, with 27 large trash cans just for the East 86th Street commercial corridor. Council Member Kallos sought out to cover Second Avenue from 96th to 54th street to coincide with the opening of the Second Avenue Subway in 2017. Following the 2016 pilot, residents reported reduced litter and rodents, with requests for more cans, resulting in a multi-year investment of $330,000 from FY17 to FY20 through the City Council’s NYC CleanUp initiative, an environmental initiative designed to meet the growing city’s sanitation and environmental challenges.
In addition to investing in trash cans, Council Member Kallos has funded a $85,000 pilot program with Wildcat Services to clean the neighborhood with three-person crews who focus four-days a week on sweeping sidewalks and bike islands, cleaning gutters, drains of blockages, and removing litter from tree pits.
Cleaning Up the Neighborhood with Wildcat Services
Wednesday, December 5, 2018
Sidewalks and streets on the Upper East Side are about to get cleaner with the attention of a dedicated Wildcat Service crew after $85,000 in funding from the NYC Cleanup Initiative allocated by Council Member Ben Kallos. A three-person crew will focus its efforts on four-day a week sweeping of sidewalks and bike islands, cleaning gutters and drains of blockages, and removing liter from tree pits. The new initiative funding follows ongoing investment by Kallos and a commitment to cleaning up the Upper East Side that has included securing twice a day basket pickup and buying a 322 new large covered trash cans for every corner in the district, limiting overfill and spillover that became litter.
The pilot will also explore power-washing sidewalks throughout the district and shoveling key intersections during big storms.
Founded in 1972 by visionary social entrepreneur Herb Sturz, Wildcat Service Corporation became the first organization in the United States to design and implement a transitional work program for unemployed persons with criminal convictions. Stable, supervised work provides a framework for a daily routine that reduces idleness, a precursor to crime. Employment enhances self-esteem, strengthens family ties and support networks, and leads away from the behaviors and associations that tend to lead to recidivism. Yet the Prison Policy Initiative estimates that 27 percent of formerly incarcerated people are unemployed—a higher unemployment rate than at the peak of the Great Depression. Research shows a strong correlation between unemployment and recidivism. Barriers to employment—including job readiness, eroded social networks, family, logistical and legal challenges and the stigma of incarceration–result in huge costs not just to individuals and families but to society. The Fedcap Group operates an array of programs dedicated to providing second chances and changing the lives of the previously incarcerated.
Kallos Expands Upper East Side and East Harlem Clean-Up with 4 Day a Week Cleaning of Sidewalks, Bike Islands, Gutters, Drains and Tree Pits
Wednesday, December 5, 2018
Sidewalks and streets on the Upper East Side are about to get cleaner with the attention of a dedicated Wildcat Service crew after $85,000 in funding from the NYC Cleanup Initiative allocated by Council Member Ben Kallos. A three-person crew will focus its efforts on four-day a week sweeping of sidewalks and bike islands, cleaning gutters and drains of blockages, and removing litter from tree pits. The new initiative funding follows ongoing investment by Kallos and a commitment to cleaning up the Upper East Side that has included securing twice a day basket pickup and buying a 322 new large covered trash cans for every corner in the district
Council Member Kallos is partnering with neighborhood associations and Wildcat Services to pilot routes focusing on major cross streets:
- 57th and 72nd between York and Second Avenues, and
- 79th, 86th, and 96th between East End and Lexington Avenues.
Cleaning Up Upper East Side with 284 New Large Trash Cans for Every Corner Purchased by Council Member Kallos
Friday, May 26, 2017
Litter strewn sidewalks on the Upper East Side got cleaner following an investment of $154,780 by Council Member Ben Kallos in 284 new large trash cans personally delivered by Sanitation Department Commissioner Kathryn Garcia. The new large trash cans are housed in a green metal case with a dome top and a small opening that prevents trash from spilling and has been reported to deter rodents.
This massive rollout followed an initial pilot that brought 38 large trash cans to hot spots with 27 large trash cans just for the East 86th Street commercial corridor. Council Member Kallos sought out to cover Second Avenue from 96th to 54th street to coincide with the opening of the Second Avenue Subway in 2017. Following the 2016 pilot resident reported reduced litter and rodents with requests for more cans from the East Sixties Neighborhood Association (ESNA), the East 72nd Street Neighborhood Association (E72NA), and the East 86th Street Association (E86NA). In response Council Member Kallos expanded from his original plan of covering Second Avenue to cover every corner that had a wire mesh trash can, providing 284 new large cans that cover 104 intersections in his district
New Trash Cans Follow Doubling of Trash Pick Ups and Business Improvement District to Cleaning Up East 86th Street Commercial Corridor
June 3, 2016
After an investment of $20,710 by Council Member Ben Kallos for 38 new large trash cans, they were personally delivered to the district by Sanitation Department Commissioner Kathryn Garcia.
The large trash cans are targeted to street corners with high numbers of trash complaints in order to prevent trash overflow and spillage of litter on to the street. The 38 large trash cans will start from 70th Street and First Avenue through 98th Street and Lexington, with 27 large trash cans just for the East 86th Street commercial corridor.
Twice-a-Day Trash Pickup for East 86th Street Commercial Corridor Announced by Sanitation Commissioner Garcia and Council Member Kallos to Address Overflowing Cans
Wednesday, April 13, 2016
Overflowing trash cans that have led to trash on the sidewalk along the East 86th Street commercial corridor will be addressed with an increase in city trash can pick up from once to twice day as ordered by Sanitation Commissioner Kathryn Garcia upon the request of Council Member Ben Kallos.
East 86th Street will get twice a day pickup to eliminate overflowing trash cans that lead to trash all over the sidewalkCouncil Member Ben Kallos made the request for twice a day pickup to Commissioner Garcia at a March 2016 preliminary budget hearing where he emphasized the amount of pictures and complaints received by his office on the amount of trash on East 86th Street.
East 86th Street is an intersection for commuters who ride the 4, 5, 6 trains and residents who take the M86 Select Bus Service. East 86th street and Lexington saw over 20.7 million riders in 2014, listing it among the top ten most heavily trafficked stations in New York City. Due to the amount of pedestrian traffic and proximity to local businesses a good majority of which are restaurants and big box stores it is no surprise that this area often suffers from overflowing trash containers as well as garbage in the street. This is a problem that was been very well documented with residents often turning to social media to air out complaints and by local papers like DNAinfo.
Although the Department of Sanitation’s increased services to the area will go a long way in keeping East 86th Street clean, work is also underway the local Council Members, as well as businesses and property owners to organize a business improvement district (BID) to provide even cleaner and more presentable streets, as well as homeless outreach, landscaping, and business services, by joining efforts and funds to improve the neighborhood.
A Kindler Gentler Dump
On March 25, the Department of Sanitation is opening the East 91st Street Marine Transfer Station. As Our Town reported in 2018, and according to the New York City Department of Sanitation:
On most days, the MTS will receive, on average, between 40 and 50 trucks.
This is far fewer than the hundreds and hundreds of truck we had feared. I remain steadfast in my opposition to opening an MTS is this neighborhood. Over the past five years, we’ve fought the building of the MTS at every step. After years of advocacy, we won some important victories that will the community safer:
- Exposed high costs
- Introduced air quality monitoring legislation
- Ensured zoned trash pickup is done fairly
- Brought attention to dangers of garbage trucks
- Secured funding for guardrails on garbage trucks
- Moved the ramp to protect thousands of children that play at Asphalt Green
- Won a commitment for zero waste by 2030 that will render marine-transfer-to-landfill obsolete
- Co-sponsored and passed a Waste Equity Law that will protect our neighborhood from receiving more than 10% of the city’s waste
Establishing a Business Improvement District for the East 86th Street Business Corridor
I continue to work to establish a Business Improvement District on the Upper East Side's business corridor along 86th. One of the reasons it is necessary is that the East 86th Street train station sees as many visitors a year as Penn Station, at more than 20 million a year. A Business Improvement District for East 86th Street would supplement city services with daily street sweeping and support for our local businesses. You can help clean up East 86th Street by getting your favorite business and their landlord to share their support at BenKallos.com/BID/Support