Sept. 16, 2020 By Allie Griffin
Council Member Robert Holden has secured funding to keep the commercial corridors of Ridgewood clean and litter-free.
Holden has allocated discretionary funds toward a non-profit organization that is now in charge of keeping the sidewalks on select streets clean seven days a week. The non-profit employs homeless New Yorkers to do the task.
The funds come at a time when the city has slashed the budget, including the Department of Sanitation (DSNY) budget that has been cut by $106 million.
The Association of Community Employment Programs for the Homeless (ACE) began cleaning the busy corridors, including Flushing Avenue, Metropolitan avenue, Fresh Pond Road and Myrtle Avenue seven days a week on Sept. 2, Holden said.
The organization focuses on cleaning litter, emptying trash baskets and sweeping the sidewalks. Workers will also clear snow from catch basins and sidewalk cutouts at crosswalks when winter begins and occasionally remove graffiti.
Holden has also allocated funds from his discretionary budget to the Sanitation Department to bring back Sunday wastebasket collection.
“The economic toll that the COVID-19 pandemic has taken on our city can be seen daily in the growing amount of litter and piles of garbage from overflowing wastebasket on our streets and sidewalks,” Holden said in a statement. “We cannot allow our environment and quality of life continue to suffer, so I am proud to bring more cleaning services to my communities to make up for what was lost.”
The city announced Tuesday that it has reallocated funds within the DSNY budget to support additional litter basket pickups as well. The funds will restore about 65 sanitation trucks tasked with basket collection across the city — a 24 percent increase from current levels.