Council’s Preliminary Budget Response prioritized restoring budget cuts and added investments for key sanitation services: organics, litter baskets, rat mitigation, street sweeping, and other trash collection programs

City Hall, NY – Speaker Adrienne E. Adams, Finance Committee Chair Justin Brannan and Sanitation and Solid Waste Management Committee Chair Sandy Nurse applauded today’s Department of Sanitation (DSNY) $11 million clean streets announcement as an important step in line with the Council’s Preliminary Budget Response, while also urging additional sanitation investments prioritized by the Council. The nearly $2 million restoration of alternate side parking street sweeping programs and personnel was requested in the Council’s budget response, while cleaning of protected bike lanes has broad support.

In addition to the welcomed funding for services announced today, the Council reiterated its budget response calls for additional sanitation investments in litter baskets, rat mitigation, organics drop-off sites, e-waste collection, and other trash collection programs such as highway ramp cleaning, illegal dumping enforcement, and lot cleaning. The Council will continue to advocate for these additional investments.

The Council’s Preliminary Budget Response includes the following sanitation investments for the final FY23 budget:

  • Curbside organic collection: Restore and baseline $18.2 million in headcount and programmatic reductions that halt expansion of curbside organics collection program.
  • Organic Drop-Off Sites: Restore and baseline an additional $3.5 million in Fiscal 2023 for organic drop-off sites citywide.  
  • Litter baskets: Baseline $22 million to increase litter basket service to every district citywide Street Sweeping: Additional funding to restore personnel.
  • Rat Mitigation: Baseline $4.8 million for rat mitigation programs to curtail infestation issues.
  • E-Waste Collection: Restore $3.6 million for 38 uniform personnel to administer DSNY’s curbside E-Waste collection program.
  • Enforcement: $3.4 million to hire 50 uniform personnel for DSNY’s illegal dumping enforcement operations.
  • Lot Cleaning: Restore $2.2 million and 37 uniform personnel for DSNY’s lot cleaning operations.
  • Public Waste Container Pilot: Calling to include $935,000 in Fiscal 2023 to restore the waste containerization pilot.
  • School Organics Collection Program: Calling to include an additional $793,000 in Fiscal 2023 and in the out years to expand the school organics collection program.
  • Zero Waste Schools Educational Program & Stop‘N’Swap Program: Calling upon the Administration to baseline $3.1 million for these two programs, which play an important role in providing environmental education for schools and diverting waste from landfills.
  • Support a Save-As-You-Throw Study: Recommend allocating $1 million for a “Save-As-You-Throw” study, which would explore financial incentives for New Yorkers to divert waste from landfills.

“The cleanliness of our neighborhoods is paramount to the health and well-being of our city,” said Speaker Adrienne Adams. “Since the start of the pandemic, New Yorkers have grown increasingly concerned about trash on the streets, which has worsened due to draconian cuts to the sanitation budget. Funding the restoration of sanitation services is vitally important to New York City’s recovery. We appreciate Mayor Adams’ commitment to add some sanitation funding that the Council championed in its Preliminary Budget Response as a first step. At the same time, there remains greater budget investments and restorations needed to deliver the cleaner and healthier communities that New Yorkers deserve. The Council will continue to fight for the adequate level of sanitation services for every neighborhood in our city.”

“There is no Democratic or Republican way to pick up the garbage. We just need to get it done,” said Council Member Justin Brannan, Chair of the Council’s Finance Committee. “Indeed, sanitation services may be the one remaining issue that unifies us in all of American politics these days. Trash talk may get lost in the headlines, but picking up the garbage is easily one of the most important and essential services a city provides. Garbage pick-up is ultimately an equity issue, because a clean and healthy neighborhood is a safe neighborhood, and a safe neighborhood is the foundation for everything else. That is why this Council is laser-focused on making sure our Department of Sanitation is funded at historic levels because nothing says New York City is back like clean streets from Pelham Bay to Bay Ridge.”

“In our budget response, the City Council was unified in demanding a fully funded and baselined DSNY to meet the needs and demands for essential sanitation services,” said Council Member Sandy Nurse, Chair of the Council’s Sanitation and Solid Waste Management Committee. “While we fully support the restoration of alternate side parking and the investment in cleaning bike lanes, we urge the administration to also fully fund basket service and rat mitigation to meet the growing litter and rodent crisis our communities are facing. Achieving clean streets for every New Yorker is a critical step in our recovery and must be coupled with major investments in zero waste infrastructure and programs as laid out in our budget response.”