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
$85,000 from Council Member Ben Kallos will bring Wildcat to clean high traffic streets
Funding will provide jobs to help formerly incarcerated transition to economic independence
New York, NY – 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.
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.
The pilot will also explore power-washing sidewalks throughout the district and shoveling key intersections during big storms. Council Member Kallos and Wildcat will be soliciting feedback to improve routes and overall impact through neighborhood associations and from East Side residents at Cleanup@BenKallos.com.
“We’re cleaning up the neighborhood block by block, from a new covered trashcan on every corner, to launching and supporting community groups, to partnering with Wildcat to dedicating a crew to keep the Upper East Side clean four days a week,” said Council Member Ben Kallos. “Thank you to our neighborhood associations for their partnership. I look forward to learning from this pilot how we can best keep the Upper East Side clean.”
“Wildcat Service Corporation is very happy and excited to partner with Council Member Ben Kallos to provide outdoor cleaning services in District 5. Our Neighborhood Improvement Program (NIP) is looking forward to taking care of various requests from Council Member Ben Kallos and his team in order to beautify their district, “said Shanice McDonald of Wildcat Service Corporation a division of the Fedcap Group.”
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.
The Wildcat pilot will clean up the major cross streets, and will also test the effectiveness of servicing sections of the avenues that are not served by the Doe Fund, which currently provides services along certain stretches of the avenues. New routes will include:
- First Avenue between 55th and 72nd as well as 82nd and 96th Streets
- Second Avenue between 54th and 79th on the east side of the street only, and both sides of the street from 79th to 96th Streets
- Third Avenue between 84th and 96th Streets
- Lexington between 84th and 96th on the east side of the street, and both sides of the street from 96th to 100th Streets
The Doe Fund currently provides cleanup service on the following avenues:
- East End between 79th and 90th Streets
- York between 72nd and 90th Streets
- First Avenue between 72nd and 82nd Streets
- Third Avenue between 63rd and 84th Streets
- Lexington between 63rd and 84th
Wildcat provided the best bid for this pilot program. while the Doe Fund did not apply for funding or submit a proposal to compete with Wildcat. The Doe Fund has indicated that it may choose to further withdraw service on the Upper East Side, including removing all Doe Fund labeled trash cans, if Wildcat is allowed to clean areas not served by the Doe Fund. If the Doe Fund further withdraws service from East 86th Street and the Upper East Side, Council Member Kallos has committed to expand the pilot to include the purchase of 171 new trash cans for an unplanned additional investment of $119,908. Instead of concentrating on problem corridors, the larger pilot would test the effectiveness of longer routes along the avenues, including:
- York between 72nd and 90th Streets,
- First between 55th and 96th Streets,
- Second between 54th and 79th on the east side of the street only, and both sides of the street from 79th to 96th Streets,
- Third between 79th and 96th Streets, and
- Lexington between 79th and 96th on the east side of the street only, then both sides of the street from 96th to 100th Streets.
“As the most expansive nonprofit to address quality of life issues in Carnegie Hill with an outreach and training internship entitled CHN Clean Streets, as well lending our support of the 86th Street BID, we laud the clean streets effort of Council member Ben Kallos. NYC Cleanup not only improves the streetscape appearance, it also addresses aboveground maintenance, enabling important underground infrastructure to remain in good working order,” said Joanna Cawley, Executive Director at Carnegie Hill Neighbors.
“Our residents deeply appreciate Council Member Kallos’ funding of the Wildcat Services pilot program to provide this new cleaning service to the East 72nd Street neighborhood. Both the daily commuters to the York Avenue Hospital Corridor and our resident families and seniors will benefit from cleaner streets and snow-free intersections. We thank Council Member Kallos for his continuous efforts to improve the daily quality of life throughout the district,” said Valerie Mason, President of the East 72nd Street Neighborhood Association.
“We greatly appreciate Council Member Kallos' consistent commitment to clean streets. The East 86th Street Association shares this commitment and despite it being an uphill climb, Ben Kallos has been an excellent partner, and together solid progress has been accomplished. Today's announcement is a welcome reinforcement of our efforts. From increased corner pick-ups to larger cans, Ben continues to deliver for his constituents. Thank you!,” said Andrew Fine, Board Member, East 86th Street Neighborhood Association.
“The East 79th Street Neighborhood Association is grateful to Council Member Kallos for recognizing the need to do a serious cleanup of our streets,” said Betty Copper Wallerstein of the East 79th Street Neighborhood Association. “There is a lot of busy traffic on our streets both pedestrian and vehicular necessitating the extra cleanup service.
“Our mothers were right: appearance counts. And most especially when it comes to our neighborhoods. A trash-free community speaks volumes about its vitality. That’s why the East Sixties Neighborhood Association is supporting the NYC Clean Up initiative being launched on the Upper East Side by Council Member Ben Kallos. It’s been the association’s experience that these kinds of efforts have a very positive ripple effect: neighbors begin to take a greater interest in seeing that their immediate areas are well kept. Thanks to the councilman for bringing this program to our community,” said Barry Schneider founder of the East Sixties Neighborhood Association.
"No question, the newly-minted Wildcat initiative is a giant step forward for the much-neglected First Avenue 60's. Cleaner streets, sidewalks and bicycle islands! Shoveled intersections! Power-washing and more! Thank you, Council Member Kallos, said " Sarah Gallagher Founder of Upper Green Side."
“The pilot program with Wildcat for neighborhood street cleaning, is another of a long line of innovative measures that Council Member Ben Kallos has during his time in the City Council, advocated and brought to reality. We cannot say enough about the Council Member's manifold efforts to improve the quality of life for the residents of his district,” said Charles Giovanni Vanzan Coutinho President of the Sutton Area Community.