Photo shows two people removing litter from a tree bed.
Upper East Side neighbors and lawmakers gathered this weekend to spend an afternoon cleaning up busy East 86th Street | Andrew Fine

UES Volunteers Clean Up Filthy East 86th Street Corridor 🆓


Upper East Side volunteers and local lawmakers gathered in the sun Saturday afternoon to clean up the sidewalks and roadway along filthy East 86th Street, removing trash from the busy commercial corridor between Second and Park Avenues.

The event was hosted by the East 86th Street Association and Carnegie Hill Neighbors, both non-profits dedicated to improving the quality of life in the neighborhood. 

Photo shows multiple peoples removing litter from a tree box with long metal grabbers
Upper East Siders and local lawmakers volunteered Saturday at a street cleaning event hosted by neighborhood nonprofits | Andrew Fine

“It was a beautiful day on East 86th Street where we had 25 volunteers come up to clean the streets and highlight improvements made to the street in the past decade,” Andrew Fine, vice president of the association, told Upper East Site, adding, “and draw attention to challenges that remain, chief among them, street sanitation.”

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Neighbors decked out in East 86th Street Association hoodies, plus two elected officials, showed up for their community, armed with garbage pails, gloves, grabbers and brooms to spruce up sidewalks, tree beds and curbs. 

Photo shows two people in summer clothes removing litter from a plater on a city street
Neighbors used garbage pails, gloves, grabbers and brooms to clean East 86th Street at the annual event | Andrew Fine

Taking place every year, as Upper East Site has reported, the street cleaning provides much-needed beautification to the busy retail corridor, which is often littered with trash, not unlike long-unswept Lexington Avenue. Previous events also cleaned graffiti from businesses.

“The inundation of app delivery workers who have little regard for street sanitation have been a fly in the ointment,” Fine said, referencing the continued scourge of e-bikes parking and loitering outside restaurants waiting for pick-up orders. 

Photo shows a man and a woman removing litter from a tree bed as men on mopeds are parked in the background
Much of the trash, Fine said, comes from delivery workers who park and loiter outside businesses | Andrew Fine

Despite the ongoing issues, East 86th Street has seen improvements in recent years, as Fine explained. 


“In the past decade, we’ve seen dozens of expanded tree pits protected by steel tree guards, we have planted hundreds of bushes, mainly beautiful Yews that are thriving,” he said. “[Upper East Side City Council Member] Julie Menin secured funding for mid-block garbage cans, street cleaners, and increased corner can pick-ups, yet challenges remain.”

Photo shows a group of people, many wearing black hoodies, posing for a photo
Fine said 25 neighbors and elected officials came out to clean up their community | Andrew Fine

In her first term, the council member funded mid-block trash cans for Eats 86th Street, as well as more frequent garbage pick-ups, as Upper East Site reported at the time. 

ALSO READ | Graffiti-Covered Box Trucks Become Permanent Blights on East 86th Street 

The event was hosted in partnership with the New York City Small Business Service and the NYC Department of Youth and Community Development, as part of the association’s effort to create the East 80s Yorkville Alliance, a Business Improvement District that would grant the area additional support with street cleaning and maintenance, public safety and services for small businesses. 

Photo shows a middle aged woman and man posing for a photo
Attendees included State Assembly Members Rebecca Seawright (pictured) and Alex Bores | Andrew Fine

Fine, who sits on the Steering Committee for the Business Improvement District, explained the event served as an awareness campaign for the alliance. 

Also in attendance were State Assembly Members Alex Bores and Rebecca Seawright, who lent a hand on their weekend away from Albany.

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