NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- New York City Mayor Eric Adams is taking aim at trash piles and graffiti, promising a commitment to cleanliness that hasn't been seen in decades.
The city says 311 complaints keep coming, and now there are plans to clean up eyesore lots and go after businesses that are too cheap to pay private hauling companies to take their garbage, illegally dumping it across the city.
"Dumping is a theft of public space," Sanitation Commissioner Jessica Tisch said. "It ruins communities, and we're not going to take it anymore."
As a result, more cameras are going up in spots that have been dumping grounds. Tisch said she was recently looking at one of the camera feeds from Brooklyn.
"And I saw, wow, that pile of trash wasn't there an hour ago," she said. "And I kept rewinding the video and very easily caught the dumper. He was using a U-Haul truck."
After a call to U-Haul, the driver is facing a $4,000 summons.
Now, Adams is putting others on notice.
"We are going to target them and make it no longer a profitable experience to dump anywhere in our city," he said.
The city is also responding to all the complaints of overflowing litter baskets that have piled up since pickups were reduced in the pandemic budget, with $22 million in the new budget to increase that pickup service by about 50,000 collections per week.
And those litter bins are not exactly rat proof.
"I've watched these rats climb up these baskets, so we've assisted them with the design," Adams said. "We have to get a new model."
The new rat resistant design is still being finalized.
Meanwhile, the city says the cleanup efforts are one way the city wants to discourage littering, setting an example for property owners who are responsible for their sidewalks and gutters.
Adams is promising more litter baskets citywide, saying there is no excuse to leave garbage on the street or worse, toss it out of the car.
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