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Mayor Adams, DSNY Commissioner Tisch Celebrate Major new Investments in Cleanliness

June 27, 2022

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NEW YORK – New York City Mayor Eric Adams, New York City Department of Sanitation (DSNY) Commissioner Jessica Tisch, and elected officials today gathered in the South Bronx —an area beset by the twin scourges of illegal dumping and persistent large-scale littering — and affirmed that the city will not allow its neighborhoods and the New Yorkers who live there to accept unsanitary, unsightly conditions as normal. Mayor Adams celebrated investments in cleanliness in the Fiscal Year 2023 (FY23) Adopted Budget of a level not seen in decades, affirming that all New Yorkers have a right to a clean street, and that delivering on this right is critical to New York City’s recovery.

“New Yorkers tell it like it is, and everywhere I’ve gone in the last couple of years, they’ve told me the streets don’t look the way they should,” said Mayor Adams. “We have heard the complaints loud and clear; we need to get trash off our streets and kick littering to the curb, and, today, we are throwing those conditions in the bin. Sanitation workers want and deserve the tools to clean up this town and revitalize the city they love, and the tens of millions of dollars invested in this budget will let them ‘Get Stuff Done’ for our neighborhoods.”

“This is a historic investment for DSNY and a huge win for New Yorkers who deserve clean streets and public spaces,” said Deputy Mayor for Operations Meera Joshi. “We urge New Yorkers to do their part in keeping our streets clean and supporting DSNY in doing their job: Place your trash in litter baskets, call 311 when spaces need additional cleaning, and move your car to accommodate street cleaning. Together, we can bring a cleaner, more enjoyable city.”

“The Sanitation Department has three core functions — curbside collection, snow removal, and cleaning,” said DSNY Commissioner Tisch. “At the start of the pandemic, though, the budget for cleaning programs was decimated, and anyone who took a walk outside could see the difference immediately. Overflowing litter baskets, dirty streets and lots, piles of illegally dumped material; that’s not New York. That’s not how it’s supposed to be. And under this budget, New Yorkers will see a meaningful difference.”

The FY23 Adopted Budget, passed by the City Council on June 14th, includes significant new funding for cleanliness initiatives at DSNY. These include: 

  • $22 Million in new funding for litter basket service, baskets to be emptied approximately 50,000 more times per week citywide. This means more service than ever, fewer overflowing baskets, and less trash on the sidewalk. 
  • $7.5 Million for Precision Cleaning Initiatives — targeted work that addresses conditions like illegal dumping and persistent littering. Anyone who knows an area in need of precision cleaning is encouraged to call 311; this funding means calls can get results faster than ever before. 
  • $4.5 Million for cleaning of vacant lots — allowing a return to pre-pandemic staffing levels at the DSNY Lot Cleaning Unit. This funding will stop vacant lots across the city — largely located in traditionally underserved neighborhoods — from turning into de facto dumps and will make the city’s recovery more equitable.

In addition to these efforts, DSNY is engaging in the following previously announced new initiatives under Mayor Adams’ leadership:

  • The July 5th return of full pre-pandemic street sweeping, as New Yorkers once again move their cars to allow the mechanical broom — the strongest tool in the street cleaning arsenal — to do its job. 
  • A five-borough pilot on containerization of waste, keeping bags of trash off the sidewalks and testing what works to improve aesthetics and reduce opportunities for pests to feed. 
  • New equipment and staff for sweeping protected bike lanes at least once per week. 

DSNY is also engaging in a major increase of enforcement, particularly against illegal dumping — a theft of public space by private entities that carries a $4,000 fine for the first offense, and during which the offenders’ vehicles are impounded. All residents have a role to play in keeping New York City clean, either by reducing their waste, by calling 311 to report conditions in need of service, or by simply following the law. 

New York’s Strongest are essential heroes who keep New York City clean, healthy, and safe — and recruitment is open now for the Sanitation Worker civil service exam. Any New Yorker excited about the opportunity to work on these new cleanliness initiatives can register before June 30th at


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