2016 and 2017 have seen East 86th Street cleaning up its act thanks to a community effort that includes The East 86th Street Association, Local Council Member Ben Kallos, Sanitation Commissioner Kathryn Garcia, and local buildings and businesses.
Seeing that Sanitation was having trouble keeping up with the volume of trash on one of the city’s busiest streets, the E 86th St Assn implemented a multi-faceted plan that has evolved over time. First, the association worked to bring attention to the situation by engaging local media, local elected officials, and the Department of Sanitation. Then, in coordination with Sanitation, the Assn engaged local merchants like, Papaya King and Janovic Paints, and buildings like The Lucida, The Brompton, 185 East 85th Street, and Evans Tower to volunteer to “adopt-a-bin.” Sanitation delivered bags to the volunteers, and the volunteers, in turn, agreed to tend the bins when they were full, tying up bags and replacing them with fresh bags. Then, at the urging of the Assn, bigger, spill-proof large green bins were requested and received with the help of Ben Kallos from District 5. Kallos also aided in convincing Kathryn Garcia, the Sanitation Commissioner to double garbage pick-up on East 86th Street. Thanks, Ben!
It is still a work are in progress. Solar powered “Big Belly” cans that self-compact and send an email when full, are in discussion, so is a plan to expand the number of larger spill-proof cans. Progress is tangible. We are moving in the right direction, and the neighborhood is cleaner!
We still need your help. If you see an overflowing garbage can, an unsanitary condition, or commercial rubbish being disposed of improperly, please call 311 to lodge a complaint. It only takes a few minutes, and complaints are acted on. Also, if you have the time, and you are “fired up”, please contact your local representatives. Not many people speak up, so your voice is amplified! As the old adage goes, “the squeaky wheel gets the grease.”