A Cleaner Upper East Side, Hopefully

  Last modified on February 3rd, 2022

After long enduring Sanitation Department budget cuts and a rogue trashcan vandal, the Upper East Side can expect to see more sidewalk and less trash.

On Friday, City Councilmember Julie Menin announced that her office is allocating $120,000 to increase litter basket pickups throughout the Upper East Side. Instead of three daily pickups Monday through Saturday (with two on Sunday), a fourth pickup will be added four days a week.

The de Blasio administration cut the Department of Sanitation’s weekly litter basket runs by 63% in mid-2020, from 736 to 272. The administration added back 65 runs in September of last year, but a full 271% increase in weekly pickups is necessary to counterbalance the effects of a 63% decrease. Still awaiting that, Menin’s office is stepping in to help the UES.

Beyond better trash collection, the UES will hopefully see a concomitant decrease in reported rat-human interactions as well. The neighborhood has seen dramatic increases in rat sightings over the course of the pandemic, and less trash overflowing from litter baskets means less attraction for rats.

The increased litter basket runs will continue through the end of June 2022, which is the end of the current fiscal year.

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