Aug. 23, 2021 By Michael Dorgan
Council Member Paul Vallone has announced additional funding to cover the costs of trash pickups and other cleaning services in northeast Queens.
Vallone secured an extra $120,000 from the city budget to help keep dozens of streets clean in Auburndale, Bayside, College Point, Douglaston, Flushing, Little Neck and Whitestone.
The new funds will go toward basket pickups operated by the Dept. of Sanitation (DSNY) and trash removal services carried out by the Wildcat Service Corporation, a group that provides employment for out-of-work residents with criminal records.
Vallone announced $280,000 in total for trash services in District 19 for the current fiscal year – up from $160,000 last year.
“Keeping our neighborhoods clean and comfortable is key to ensure that our city recovers completely from the pandemic,” Vallone said in a statement Friday.
The lawmaker said that last year he was able to maintain clean-up funding for the district despite the city slashing the DSNY budget by $106 million.
“This year I fought to make our streets even cleaner,” Vallone said.
Vallone said that $140,000 of the $280,000 will be allocated to the DSNY for extra basket pickups and to gather litter that has been illegally dumped.
The Sanitation Dept. has been doing basket pickups in these areas twice a week in recent times. The additional funding will add an extra weekday pickup.
DSNY will also be tackling illegal dumping by targeting known hot spots. Francis Lewis Boulevard, for example, will be one of the areas prioritized, according to a spokesperson for Vallone.
The other $140,000 will cover the cost of the Wildcat Service Corporation’s Neighborhood Improvement Program (NIP), which will provide s
The program, which has been used mostly in College Point and Whitestone, has proven popular, Vallone said.
George Issakidis, president of the Whitestone Merchants Association, welcomed the new funding and said that cleaner streets help local businesses.
“Maintaining a clean and welcoming town are key to an inviting patronage,” Issakidis said.
The streets that will be serviced by Wildcat are currently being finalized, according to a spokesperson for Vallone.