‘Operation Cleanup’ initiative marks first in CB 9 district

(l-r) Rivera presents Sepulveda with a Community Board 9 ‘Community Involvement’ t-shirt before the cleanup.
Community News Group / Steven Goodstein

A Bronx community board recently partnered with a local organization to clean up its neighborhood.

On Thursday, July 23, Community Board 9 and the Summer Youth Employment Program of the Kips Bay Boys and Girls Club collaborated for ‘Operation Cleanup’, the first clean up initiative to take place within the boundaries of CB 9.

Members of the employment program, dressed in light blue shirts, amassed at Kips Bay Boys and Girls Club at the intersection of Randall Avenue and White Plains Road, where the 40 participants picked up rakes, shovels, dust pans and brooms.

From there, the youngsters fanned out into the neighborhood, cleaning up portions of Randall Avenue, Stickball Boulevard, Lafayette Avenue and White Plains Road.

Rivera, Sepulveda and members of the Summer Youth Employment Program.
Community News Group / Steven Goodstein

They also cleaned a local U.S. Post Office that had recently received complaints from its customers.

Operation Cleanup continued across White Plains Road, as summer youth employees tidied up streets, sidewalks and parks along the way, picking up all types of debris.

The Department of Sanitation, who provided the cleaning supplies for the effort, distributed t-shirts as well green garbage bags to facilitate the cleanup.

The initiative, designed to keep youth off the streets by cleaning the streets, paid each worker $8.75 per hour, the minimum wage.

Baez selects the right shovel from the CB 9 bin.
Photo by Walter Pofeldt

“These kids are helping keep this neighborhood clean while setting an example of how a clean community should look,” said newly appointed CB 9 chairman William Rivera, who also mentioned that the board is the most populated district in the Bronx with over 200,000 residents.

“This clean up initiative is the first to take place in its district and, hopefully, we can build on this experience and continue to keep our neighborhood beautiful while setting up other similar initiatives in the future.”

“These kids are helping themselves as well as others in their community by cleaning their very own neighborhood – and that is a great thing,” said Assemblyman Luis Sepulveda, who greeted the workers before the cleanup.

“The Bronx is one of the best places in the world and it is important that we keep it clean and take pride in each neighborhood within the borough,” he said.

(l-r) Genda Alcantara and Luis Matta clear the streets of debris and litter.
Photo by Walter Pofeldt

“This initiative was a great idea towards keeping our neighborhood clean and I’m glad to be involved in it,” said SYEP member Ariana Baez. “In the past, I have walked over bottles and garbage in this neighborhood, so it’s a nice change to walk down a clean street.”

Reach Reporter Steven Goodstein at (718) 260-4599. E-mail him at sgoodstein@cnglocal.com.

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