Aug. 12, 2021 By Christian Murray
A dedicated crew of workers will be keeping a long list of streets in western Queens clean stemming from a new allocation of city funds by Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer.
Van Bramer said that his office has allocated $270,000 to a non-profit organization that will be bringing on six dedicated workers to sweep streets, pick up trash and clean graffiti throughout Sunnyside, Woodside, Long Island City and Astoria.
This year’s initiative builds on clean-up programs that Van Bramer first put in place in 2012 and has expanded since.
In 2012, Van Bramer first brought a dedicated crew to clean up the commercial district of Woodside, before bringing the service to Hunters Point in 2013 and then Dutch Kills in 2014. The amount allocated to clean those areas last year was $150,000.
This year there will be an extra $120,000 to spend and the coverage area will include additional streets in areas such as Sunnyside and Astoria.
The new coverage area includes 43rd, 48th and Skillman avenues in Sunnyside. The coverage area also includes additional streets in Woodside and Long Island City (see list below).
“What we are going to see is a massive scaling up of routes,” Van Bramer said in an interview. “The thoroughfares are going to be cleaned and there will be additional staff to do it.”
Van Bramer said that the non-profit organization ACE, formally known as The Association of Community Employment Programs for the Homeless, will be in charge of maintaining the streets.
The workers are part of an ACE program where they are provided jobs as well as supplemental training in various fields. Most of the workers come from homeless shelters, drug dependency centers as well as prisons.
“I feel really good about the program,” Van Bramer said. “It’s also a good use of taxpayer dollars to keep the streets clean. People’s quality of life matters a great deal to me.”
Van Bramer is kicking off the program today with an event at 48th Avenue and 47th Street.
There are several commercial streets that are not part of Van Bramer’s coverage area.
Most of these streets are cleaned by organizations hired by Business Improvement Districts. BIDs, such as Sunnyside Shines and the Long Island City Partnership, hire workers to keep their respective zones clean.