The Council of the City of New York
Office of Costa Constantinides
(718) 274-4500

For Immediate Release
July 14, 2017
Contact: Shachar Sharon

Council Member Constantinides Allocates Over $250,000 to Cleaning Services in Astoria
Expanded Services Include Broadway Route

Astoria, N.Y. – City Council Member Costa Constantinides, today announced his Fiscal Year ‘17 budget allocation of over $250,000 to cleaning services in Astoria. Several groups will provide cleaning, weeding, and graffiti-removal services. The funding comes from Constantinides’ discretionary budget and the Council’s NYC Clean Up initiative.

As part of an expanded effort to keep Astoria clean, Broadway between 31st Street and Steinway Street is now being swept regularly. Six new large high-end litter baskets will soon be placed on street corners along Broadway.

Constantinides allocated over $210,000 total to The Association of Community Employment Programs for the Homeless (ACE) to sweep sidewalks and maintain corner litter baskets across Astoria. He expanded these services to include Broadway for the first time this fiscal year. Sidewalks along 30th Avenue, Newtown Road, 23rd Avenue, Ditmars Boulevard, 31st Street, Steinway Street, 21st Street, and Shore Boulevard will continue to be swept. ACE will continue to landscape and weed patches along Hoyt Avenue North.

Over $15,000 was allocated to Department of Sanitation.  They will install six new high-end litter baskets on Broadway.  These baskets will have a green metal cover and a small opening that prevent litter from overflowing.  The funding will also be used to again conduct second Saturday pick-up of corner litter baskets on Steinway Street and on 31st Street.  The additional pick-up will help keep the corners free of trash and help prevent fly-away litter around the sidewalks.  

Constantinides continued to make investments in graffiti removal to improve neighborhood cleanliness. An over $20,000 designation was made to the Queens Economic Development Corporation (QEDC) for on-demand graffiti removal services throughout the district and $37,500 to Central Astoria Local Development Coalition (CALDC), part of which will be used for the existing graffiti cleanup campaign run by the group.

Constantinides said, “After hearing many concerns from residents about litter on sidewalks along Broadway, I am proud to have made an investment to expand our cleaning services to include this route. Clean, litter-free, and graffiti-free streets help encourage residents and visitors to spend more time outdoors and enjoy our commercial thoroughfares. Thank you to all these community organizations for their partnership on this effort.”

“Partnering with Council Member Constantinides through the NYC Cleanup Initiative means our neighborhood sidewalks and streets will be clean and beautiful for the residents, businesses and visitors of District 22 to enjoy. Beyond the clean streets are the powerful stories of the men and women who provide these services. This initiative offers access to life-changing, job-skills training for men and women who are homeless. These hard working individuals are improving the quality of life for all of us, while gaining experience in full-time positions and achieving their goals of economic self-sufficiency. As ACE is headquartered in Queens, we are proud to bring these services to our home borough. We look forward to another year of clean streets and changed lives,” said Jim Martin, ACE Executive Director.

“ The Department of Sanitation is pleased to work with Council Member Constantinides to provide additional basket service along 31st Street and Steinway Street and purchase 6 new high end litter baskets for Council District 22,” said Sanitation Commissioner Kathryn Garcia. “The Department has found that partnerships are an essential tool in accomplishing goals. Elected officials, City residents and Sanitation can work together to make our neighborhoods a source of pride to the people who live and work there.”

“QEDC is happy to continue our clean-up work with Councilman Costa Constantinides. We appreciate his commitment and understanding that graffiti negatively impacts community appeal and perception, hurting local businesses and property-owners. Thanks to his support, we can continue to provide graffiti removal services throughout the district,” said Ricardi Calixte, Deputy Director of QEDC.

“Graffiti is vandalism that makes a neighborhood look unsafe, unkempt and uncared for. Astoria is not such a neighborhood. The graffiti removal program provided by Council Member Constantinides is invaluable in keeping our business districts free of the blight of graffiti, which creates a pleasing environment for shoppers, residents, and businesses,” said Marie Torniali, Executive Director of CALDC.

Keeping the neighborhood clean has been a priority for Constantinides since 2014. Litter and graffiti impact sidewalk accessibility, quality of life, and shopping habits. He has invested in sidewalk cleaning and graffiti removal services every year since taking office.

The Council’s NYC Clean Up initiative allocates funds to each council district for cleaner buildings, sidewalks, and streets.

Council Member Costa Constantinides represents the New York City Council’s 22nd District, which includes his native Astoria along with parts of Woodside, East Elmhurst, and Jackson Heights. He serves as the chair the City Council’s Environmental Protection Committee and sits on six additional committees: Civil Service & Labor, Contracts, Cultural Affairs, Oversight & Investigations, Sanitation, and Transportation. For more information, visit council.nyc.gov/costa.

###