Legislation mandates receptacles in shopping areas
BOROUGHWIDE— Shoppers will be seeing more litter baskets on commercial streets if a bill sponsored by Assemblymember William Colton eventually becomes law.
On Jan. 23, the State Assembly passed Colton’s proposed legislation to mandate that urban areas place an adequate number of litter baskets on commercial streets and in public recreation areas.
Colton’s bill, which has been sent to the State Senate for its consideration, would require municipalities across New York State with populations of 1 million or more to include a litter basket provision in their overall solid waste management plans.
“I decided to sponsor this bill to ensure that garbage is properly disposed, and littering is kept to a minimum. It is very important that an adequate number of trash containers are in both business areas and in public areas,” said Colton, a Democrat representing Gravesend and parts of Bensonhurst and Dyker Heights.
Commercial streets in his district, like 86th Street, 18th Avenue, Kings Highway, Avenue U and Bay Parkway, could use more litter baskets, according to Colton.
In addition to sanitation concerns, Colton said he is pushing the legislation for health reasons.
“In cities like New York, where there is a large population of tourists, businesses and commercial properties it is a necessity to have enough trash containers so everyone would consider putting litter into the trash container rather than drop it on the ground. We need to keep our city environmentally clean to avoid spreading different kinds of illnesses and diseases,” he said.
In recent years, Colton has organized numerous community cleanups in his district as part of a “Speak Up & Clean Up” campaign he developed with Councilmember Mark Treyger and Gravesend-Bensonhurst civic leader Priscilla Consolo.
As part of the campaign, Colton, Treyger and Consolo have gathered groups of volunteers, usually high school students, to sweep litter from sidewalks and distribute literature to store owners to educate them on the importance of keeping the sidewalks in front of their shops clean.
The cleanups have taken place on 86th Street, 18th Avenue and Kings Highway as well as in other areas.