Local residents and businesses can play an important role in keeping our waterways trash free.
Generate Less Trash
One of the best ways to keep trash and debris from reaching local waterways is to avoid generating this waste in the first place. In addition to keeping waterways clean, this strategy can help preserve natural resources and save money. Both the Department of Sanitation and the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability provide tips and strategies on how to use and waste less.
Become a Harbor Protector
If you are looking for ways to volunteer to help keep your neighborhood and local waterways clean, visit Harbor Protectors to learn more.
Keep Your Street Clean
Litter on the streets is a major source of waterborne trash and debris. Dirty streets can be the result of littering, improper placement of garbage and recycling for curbside collection, and illegal dumping. Here are some ways to help keep our streets clean:
Sometimes New Yorkers can fill litter baskets faster than our sanitation teams can empty them. When this happens, garbage can spill onto the streets and sidewalks. If it rains, this garbage is then carried into the sewer system and potentially into our local waterways. By adopting a litter basket, you can help keep our streets and waterways clean. Learn more about the Adopt-A-Basket Program.
Bluebelts are a preserved natural drainage system such as streams, ponds, and wetland areas. These natural systems help convey, store, and filter stormwater runoff in an ecologically sound and cost-effective manner. Learn more about the Bluebelt Program.
Trash and debris can accumulate in bluebelts, degrading these natural systems. Local community groups, companies and individuals are invited to adopt parts of the Bluebelt. Under the Adopt-a-Bluebelt program, sponsors are offered opportunities to provide maintenance to select Bluebelt locations. Each sponsor's generosity is acknowledged with a sign, displaying their name at the adopted site. To Adopt-a-Bluebelt please call 718-595-6495.
Adopt-a-Highway or Greenway
Trash and debris can accumulate along segments of highway, roadway or greenway. During rain events, this trash and debris can then be washed into local waterways. Adopters often contribute resources to keep these areas clean which helps beautify neighborhoods and keep trash out of waterways. Learn more about the Adopt-a-Highway or Greenway Program.