BENSONHURST — The sidewalks on 86th Street are going to be a lot cleaner, thanks to stepped-up cleaning efforts and more frequent litter basket collections by the city.
Councilmember Mark Treyger held a press conference outside Lenny’s Pizza at 1969 86th St. Thursday to announce that he had secured $260,000 in city funds to be used as part of the NYC Clean-Up Initiative in commercial areas in Bensonhurst, Bath Beach, Gravesend and Coney Island.
The NYC Clean-Up Initiative is a program started by the City Council to allow individual councilmembers to use their discretionary budget funds to pay for cleaning services for buildings, sidewalks and street in their districts.
Treyger, a Democrat representing Coney Island, Gravesend and parts of Bensonhurst and Bath Beach, said he is dedicating the NYC Clean-Up funding for supplemental sanitation services in commercial areas in his district.
Non-profit organizations and private firms will provide the manpower for the cleanups. The organizations and the areas they will cover are:
•Alliance for Coney Island, Inc. — Coney Island (Surf, Mermaid and Neptune Avenues).
•Center for Employment Opportunities — Mermaid Avenue.
•Kings Highway Beautification Association, Inc. — Neighborhood beautification services in Treyger’s Council district.
•Wildcat Service Corp. — Eighteenth Avenue, 86th Street, Avenue U, Avenue X and Kings Highway.
“I will continue to focus on beautification efforts to keep our neighborhoods in Southern Brooklyn free of litter, garbage and waste on our major street corridors and support our residents and business communities so that they can thrive,” Treyger said.
Treyger was joined by U.S. Rep. Max Rose, Assemblymember William Colton, Community Board 11 District Manager Marnee Elias-Pavia, Sanitation Department officials and Josephine Giordano, owner of Lenny’s Pizza at the announcement.
The goal of the cleanup program is to help mom-and-pop business owners, who can’t be expected to sweep litter off the sidewalks in front of their stores all day long when they have stores to run, officials said.
The spruce-up will also help the city’s economy, according to officials, who said the idea is to make commercial areas more attractive to shoppers so that they patronize stores and spend money.
“Clean streets are good for our commercial areas as well as the environment,” Elias-Pavia told the Home Reporter on Friday.
In addition to the NYC Clean-Up funding, Treyger also announced that a budget agreement between the Council and the de Blasio administration will pump an additional $8.6 million into the Sanitation Department for extra litter basket collections in so-called “hot spots” in each community board area in the city.
Colton, a Democrat who represents Gravesend and parts of Bensonhurst and Dyker Heights, has worked together with Treyger over the past several years to organize community-based litter sweeps, called “Speak-Up & Clean-Up” events, where groups of volunteers, mostly high school students, fan out across a targeted area to remove litter and talk to business owners and residents about the importance of keeping sidewalks clean.
The neighborhood cleanups take place several times a year. The target areas have included Bay Parkway, 86th Street and 18th Avenue.