As the 2021 NYC budget axed $106 million from sanitation, many are wondering how the poorest borough will stay clean.
On July 25, the Bronx Delegation and delegation chair Councilman Andrew Cohen sent a letter to Mayor Bill de Blasio urging the administration to address the lack of core sanitation services in the borough. The pols urged the mayor to provide additional sanitation resources and services to address overflowing litter baskets and trash-filled streets, severely insufficient trash pickups and cleaning throughout the borough.
Amid an ongoing budget crisis impacting funding across city agencies, the Sanitation Department has decreased corner litter basket pickups from seven days to three days a week, reducing weekday pickups and eliminating Sunday pickups. Street cleaning has been temporarily reduced to once a week on each side of the street.
“We ask that you consider reinstating alternate side parking as soon as possible,” the letter stated. “ In dense neighborhoods throughout the Bronx, the lack of street cleaning has left the streets inundated with filth and infestations. While we know and understand the budget challenges of the current fiscal crisis, sanitation and clean streets are major public health, environmental and quality-of-life priorities. The impact of diminished sanitation services will particularly hurt residents of the Bronx.”
The delegation expressed concern that diminished sanitation services will disproportionately impact residents of the Bronx, comprising some of the city’s poorest and most COVID-19 impacted neighborhoods, which saw a sharp increase in residential garbage volume during citywide stay-at-home orders.
“I’m thankful for the work that our dedicated sanitation employees and Commissioner Garcia have done throughout the pandemic,” Cohen said. “To continue their vital work and ensure the system works as efficiently as possible, they need continued support and resources from the city. While we know and understand the budget challenges of the current fiscal crisis, sanitation and clean streets are major public health, environmental, and quality-of-life priorities and the impact of diminished sanitation services will particularly hurt residents of the Bronx. As the borough with the highest rate of COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths, it is now more important than ever that our streets remain clean.”