Sprucing up for the new season
by John Doherty
Mar 29, 2011 | 5360 views | 0 0 comments | 148 148 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Spring is the traditional time of the year for planting, weeding and sprucing up our city. It is also the time when Keep America Beautiful holds its April event in Times Square to kickoff the Great American Cleanup, which runs from March 1 through May 31. Keep New York City Beautiful will join in to ensure that as nature reawakens and redecorates our streets and parks with green leaves and new buds, the city will be sparkling clean to celebrate the new season.

It is important to keep in mind that in spite of the tireless efforts of the dedicated men and women of Sanitation, keeping a city the size of New York clean requires everybody’s help, cooperation and participation!

Here’s how you can help keep our streets and sidewalks clean and avoid fines:

• Don’t litter.

• Always pick up after your dog.

• Use street litter-baskets only for pedestrian litter, not for household or commercial refuse.

• Organize and join community cleanup and beautification efforts.

• Report graffiti. It’s an eyesore that ruins the look of any community. To find out how, call 311.

• Remove illegally posted fliers, handbills, etc. They create an unsightly mess.

• Keep tree pits free from trash…better yet, plant flowers in them. The Parks Department will help you.

• Always sweep the sidewalk and the 18 inch-gutter area, extending from the curb into the street.

• Place refuse and recyclables out for collection at the curb, no sooner than the evening before your regular collection day.

• Make sure that refuse is placed in sealed bags or in properly covered containers to avoid windborne litter.

Springtime is a good time to clean up our communities. We encourage New Yorkers to organize and participate in cleanup and beautification projects. The Department of Sanitation can help. Our Tool Loan Program provides cleaning tools, absolutely free of charge, to volunteers from community groups, civic, block and merchants associations on short-term loans. The department also donates gloves and bags.

Go to the department’s website at www.nyc.gov/sanitation, and click on “Keep NYC Beautiful,” then click again on “New York City Department of Sanitation – Cleanup Tool Loan Program.” Our website provides an overview of the program, as well as contact information to help you determine the number and kind of tools needed for your particular event and how to reserve them.

You’ll now celebrate the new season with the pride that comes from contributing to your own community. I think that after such a cold, harsh winter, we’re all more than ready to enjoy the warm, sunny days of spring.

Good luck with your cleanup, and thank you for helping us keep New York City clean, green and beautiful.

John Doherty is commissioner of the Department of Sanitation.
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