Working Together, Clean Up Soho!

Dear Soho Residents

You’ll recall our last email reported that ACE is no longer sweeping our sidewalks or emptying the Sanitation Department’s corner trash cans.  Since then, our sidewalks and gutters have become noticeably dirty and trash cans are overflowing, especially along our more congested streets and intersections.
Many of you have contacted us, wanting to know what can be done.
The law requires that property owners keep their sidewalks and gutters clean up to 18” from the curb.  Often commercial leases require the stores to do that task.
But whoever’s responsibility it is, failure to keep your sidewalk tidy will result in fines up to $100.  No one wants that.
DSNY has not cracked down with summonses yet, but we expect that to happen soon.  So please be preemptive and assume personal responsibility in maintaining a clean sidewalk in front of your own building.
Another problem is the overflowing trash cans and debris at many busy crosswalks.  DSNY recognizes this problem but has stated that two pick-ups daily would require overtime pay and such funding is not allocated in this year’s budget.
However, DSNY has an Adopt-A-Can program.  DSNY supplies the trash bags and a store or building on each block agrees to remove the garbage bags when full and replace it with a new bag.  It only takes five minutes once a day.
If you could ask a store on your block to volunteer (or volunteer yourself to do it), please let us know and we’ll pass it along to Sanitation.
Additionally, we attended a meeting this week with a group of concerned neighbors who are seeking to obtain more city funding to pay for increased sanitation pick-ups.
The first move is to call 311 and report:
(a) overflowing trash cans at specific corners, and/or
(b) request that every corner of an intersection have a trash can.
Be specific and get a Complaint Number, so that we can follow up.
An upsurge in complaints of trashy intersections and inadequate trash cans will catch DSNY’s attention.  Do it often and be persistent.  Keep a log of your complaints for future reference and follow-up.
Furthermore, we have set up a new twitter handle @CleanUpSoHo and encourage you to tweet us a picture of the overflowing trash and location anytime you come upon it. We’ll collect the photos and submit them to DSNY and our electeds as evidence that something must be done to keep SoHo tidy.
 
Fundraising events and crowd sourcing were also discussed, but before we get to that, let’s start with the basics:
a) Keep your own sidewalk and gutter clean
b) Adopt-A-Can
c) Call 311 to report overflowing trash cans and to request a trash can on each and every corner
d) Tweet us your photos of overflowing trash cans @CleanUpSoHo
 
Working together, we can Clean Up SoHo!
 
Regards,
Sean Sweeney, Director