Respecting the past, Building the future

Sanitation Budget Cuts Reversed

OANA has received a press release  regarding the proposed cuts to the Sanitation budget

Mayor Bill de Blasio has established 3 initiatives to provide resources in hard-hit neighborhoods. Clean streets are an important public-private responsibility. With the previously proposed cuts, our local quality of life was at risk. Now we have a light at the end of the tunnel!

This announcement includes an increase in dedicated litter basket service by more than 100 trucks per week and restores funding for Sunday litter basket service.

It also has created an all-new Precision Cleaning Initiative, with borough-based teams to conduct targeted cleanings of litter conditions, illegal dumping, and overflowing litter baskets.

In addition, DSNY unveiled the design for its new Community Clean-up Van in partnership with the Sanitation Foundation and NYC Service. The van, along with investments in additional tools and resources for community groups, will support neighborhood cleanups across NYC as part of a Citywide Spring Cleanup effort.

OANA had taken a strong position to have the initial cuts reversed and we are very pleased that the tools are being provided to keep a positive environment!

OANA has sponsored local cleanups in our parks and streets, and one of our successful initiatives was to establish street cleaning by DSNY throughout our neighborhood. We have also worked with ProudAstorian, sponsoring some of their cleanups. We also advocated with them for eliminating the budget cuts!


Richard Khuzami from OANA: Pride in our neighborhood is essential to provide the Quality of Life we all deserve. During the Pandemic, our local parks and streets have become the centers of our activities. Their use has grown exponentially, however so has the cleanliness issues. We are so proud of our local community groups who have volunteered to clean up our neighborhoods. Proud Astoria, Friends of DiMarco Park, Astoria Park Alliance and others shown what a vibrant community Astoria has become. We are excited that the city will now provide the tools for these groups to continue their good works, in addition to a stronger DSNY presence in our Community.

Marie Torniali, Chair: Community Board 1: We have seen overflowing trash cans, litter, and dumping on our streets for close to a year, which is not only a health hazard, but
also a blight on the neighborhood. We are delighted to hear of the restoration of Sunday basket pick up and baseline funding for basket service.  The addition of the Precision Cleaning Initiative targeting cleanings of litter conditions, illegal dumping, and overflowing litter baskets will certainly restore our community’s quality of life.  Community Board 1 looks forward to working hand in hand with the Department of Sanitation on this initiative.

Kate Peterson: Proud Astorian: I’m ecstatic about this restoration and happy to see the Mayor agrees that the cleanliness of our streets and sidewalks is vital for our city’s recovery. Many of the 250 Astorians who joined a community cleanup this past year personally emptied overflowing litter baskets and can attest to them being a major source of the trash and litter we collect. The restoration of litter basket collection service to their previous levels prior to the massive $109M DSNY budget cut last July will have an immediate impact on Astoria.

In addition, I’m glad to see recognition and future support for neighborhood cleanup efforts like Proud Astorian. Our grassroots cleanup efforts have benefited from a strong network of support in Astoria, particularly from partner organizations like OANA, Astoria Park Alliance and Astoria Mutual Aid and from many local businesses who have donated and supported us. An expansion of the existing program with DSNY Community Affairs will go a long way in improving sanitation equity in our city.  And finally, the new dedicated Precision Cleaning initiative will be vital in dealing with the illegal dumping we encounter and other ongoing areas of concern.


Please see additional comments from various Community Leaders on the Press Release

Mr. Khuzami has been a member of Community Board 1 in Astoria, NY for the last 20 years. He sits on the Zoning and parks Committees and is on the Executive Board. Previously, he served as Parks and Culture chair of Community Board 1 for eleven years and also chaired Capital and Expense priority Committee. He is a member of the Queens General Assembly and had been a panelist for grant submissions for the Queens Council on the Arts (QCA). Richard also is an officer of The Eastern Mediterranean Business Culture Alliance (EMBCA) and President of OANA.

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