NYC marks 6 months of revitalization-focused City Cleanup Corps

NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- New York City officials were joined by Council Member Daniel Dromm and community partners in Jackson Heights Wednesday to celebrate six months of the City Cleanup Corps, which has collected 600,000 bags of trash citywide.

The event was part of an effort toward continued support of neighborhood cleanup efforts.

As part of the city's ongoing work to revitalize public spaces across the five boroughs, City Cleanup Corps members are concentrated in Jackson Heights this week through September 24, clearing litter, hand-sweeping and pressure washing sidewalks, repainting defaced properties, and tending to parks and gardens, among other efforts to care for communities.

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The NYPD says the initiative will both help the police department identify graffiti for investigative purposes and to improve the look of the neighborhoods.


"We clean, we green, and we beautify the open streets and the plazas," team member Malik Saric said.

Their work amplified by those impacted by the remnants of Hurricane Ida, which caused historic flooding and prompted New York City's first ever Flash Flood Emergency.

So far, the sanitation department has collected 18,000 tons of debris in the city from storm, and half of that has been in Queens.

"Having these clean up crew members go in and help the elderly, get into their homes, so we can take it away has been an incredible asset," Department of Sanitation Commissioner Edward Grayson said.

The Cleanup Corps crews are doing the real the dirty work, going into homes and businesses and putting the garbage in the bags.

"Members have been helping resident sort damaged belongings and get on their feet," Senior Advisor for Recovery Lorraine Grillo said. "Members have helped clear over 85 homes of debris since the storm."

The Cleanup Corps is also providing 10,000 jobs for city residents to support the beautification of neighborhoods and the city's recovery.

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Lauren Glassberg has more on New York City's announcment that they will be adding 10,000 jobs with the newly created City Cleanup Corps.


Hiring takes place across 10 different city agencies, including the Department of Parks and Recreation, Department of Transportation, New York City Housing Authority, and Department of Environmental Protection.

"In 1933, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt built the nation's economic recovery by improving infrastructure, putting Americans back to work, and restoring civic pride in our public spaces," Mayor Bill de Blasio said when he announced the Corps. "Today, New York City is leading the way in doing it again. Building a recovery for all of us means creating thousands and thousands of jobs that will make our city a safer and more beautiful place to live, work, and play. That mission has never been more important. Together, we will deliver the kind of recovery that New Yorkers deserve."

The Corps was born amid resident complaints of trash piling up across the city following pandemic-caused budget cuts.

Positions pay $15 an hour, funded by federal stimulus money.

CLICK HERE for more information about available jobs, including many with flexible hours.

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