FIRST ON UPPER EAST SITE: The Fight to Keep East 86th Street Clean Gets More Muscle

Additional trash cans placed on East 86th Street mid-block and near bus stops/Upper East Site
Additional trash cans placed on East 86th Street mid-block and near bus stops/Upper East Site

MANHATTAN – The fight to cleanup the dirty East 86th Street corridor gained some extra muscle Wednesday— thanks to the help of Council Member Julie Menin and the Department of Sanitation, Upper East Site has exclusively learned. DSNY is going above and beyond for our neighborhood, giving the bustling block more trash cans to prevent potential litterbugs from tossing garbage directly on the sidewalk.

Andrew Fine of the East 86th Street Association and Council Member Julie Menin announce extra trash cans placed on busy corridor/Upper East Site
Andrew Fine of the East 86th Street Association and Council Member Julie Menin announce extra trash cans placed on busy corridor/Upper East Site

“You cant continue to have a situation where you’re walking around the community and trash is strewn all throughout the streets,” Menin said, sharing the announcement exclusively with Upper East Site.

 “Sanitation has been one of the biggest issues I’ve heard,” the Council Member added.

Last December, dozens of volunteers armed with brooms and grabbers spent hours cleaning East 86th Street— filling twenty large garbage bags with trash and finding cardboard, wood, plastic mats and even luggage abandoned on the busy sidewalks. 

“A watershed moment,” is how Andrew Fine, Vice President of the East 86th Street Association, described the eight new trash cans lining the busy and often trash ridden corridor, from Second Avenue to Park Avenue.  

Volunteers clean up East 86th Street/Upper East Site
Volunteers clean up East 86th Street in December 2021/Upper East Site

”We’ve been fighting for more than ten years now,” Fine told Upper East Site

“It’s sad how happy garbage cans make me,” he added.

The extra garbage cans, which Fine’s group has been fighting to get for more than a decade, are placed in mid-block locations and by bus stops— not just at the the street corners of intersections, where the Sanitation Department typically does pickups.  

“We are pleased to partner with Council Member Menin in siting new baskets along this busy corridor and thank her for her ongoing commitment to working together for cleaner neighborhoods,” said Sanitation Commissioner Edward Grayson.  

“We remind New Yorkers that litter baskets are for ‘walking trash’ such as coffee cups and candy wrappers, not bulky items or household trash,” he added.

The surge in resources just a week after Council Member Menin and DSNY announced extra pickups from public garbage cans— That initiative made possible through $120k funding allocated by Menin, adding an extra collection to the schedule four days a week.

Additional trash cans placed on East 86th Street mid-block and near bus stops/Upper East Site
Additional trash cans placed on East 86th Street mid-block and near bus stops/Upper East Site

“This is an enormous moment for the community,” Menin said.

Nearby businesses are also being enlisted to help keeping the blocks clean by adopting one of the cans— making sure it’s not overflowing and changing the bags when necessary. 

”Businesses can take some pride of ownership in adopting one of these cans and helping to keep the neighborhood clean,” the Council Member told us.

Baked by Melissa, Orange Theory Fitness, Chick-fil-A, Foot Locker and the 115 East 86th Street Co-Op. have already signed on for the program, Mr. Fine tells Upper East Site.

Additional trash cans placed on East 86th Street mid-block and near bus stops/Upper East Site
Additional trash cans placed on East 86th Street mid-block and near bus stops/Upper East Site

On Wednesday, when the new trash cans were placed at their locations,  pedestrians immediately put them to use. Within minutes of arriving on East 86th Street Wednesday afternoon, Upper East Site spotted a woman dropping a baggie of her dog’s poop in the can— being the kind of neighbor we can all appreciate.

“I know how to cut through beaurocracy,” Menin exclusively told Upper East Site

“This is just the beginning of what we’re going to get done.”

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