Mayor Adams,

We are calling upon you to take corrective action on the environmental racism plaguing Harlem. In 2018 the city removed over 200 trash bins from the streets of Harlem. Despite a call for more resources, during the Covid19 pandemic even more trash bins were removed. This is an unjustified plight against the community, especially in light of New York City’s worsening rat infestation. 

Prior to even taking office, Councilmember Kristin Richardson Jordan managed to secure over 30 new bins to District 9, improving upon the wire bins the city previously provided. While this was helpful, this problem requires a greater solution. Hundreds of trash cans were removed by the city; we call on the city to use their budget to replace them. We also encourage the use of solar bins to promote greener and more hygienic public spaces. Solar bins also require fewer collections, therefore it would be a cost saving addition.

To ignore the requests for replacements of trash bins in Harlem while adding more to whiter and wealthier neighborhoods who don’t have dire need is foolish and unacceptable. It is time for you to step in and invest to fix this injustice to Harlem. In addition to you providing access to trash and recycling bins we ask that you

  • Restore the sanitation department’s budget, which was cut by $106 million in June 2020
  • Extend recycling to the over 600,000 residents who live in NYCHA buildings
  • Implement a commercial waste zone so larger producers of waste can divert and reduce waste
  • Phase out waste exports and incinerator contracts and begin planning for a zero waste future

During talks with Borough President Mark Levine, Councilmember Richardson Jordan was told that the best option to increase the number of trash bins in Harlem would be to use her own discretionary capital funds. However, the city caused this problem, and the responsibility of the solution falls squarely on its shoulders. Mayor Adams, the constituents of Harlem deserve a clean and healthy environment to live in. District 9 demands that you do right by the people who took part in electing you and make the changes necessary to accomplish clean environments for now and for the future.

Constituents, please sign our sanitation petition