Councilman Chaim Deutsch hosted his second community cleanup on Sunday, with volunteers turning out to sweep the sidewalks and gutters of Avenue U between Nostrand Avenue and Coney Island Avenue.
Dozens turned out, including volunteers from Homecrest Community Services and local schools like Sheepshead Bay High School and Midwood High School.
The clean-up came on the heels of the announcement that Deutsch had secured $68,000 for additional litter basket pickups on Avenue U and Sheepshead Bay Road, increasing pickups to five times a week on each strip. It’s also two weeks after a Sheepshead Bay Road cleanup.
The pol acknowledged that cleanups only go so far, and that often the streets are filthy again within days. But he said it’s about creating awareness, and showing would-be litter bugs that their neighbors are putting in the effort.
“It’s not just a clean-up,” he said. “We don’t want to waste anybody’s time. So it’s an ongoing effort.”
Aside from the funding and the cleanups, Deutsch’s team and volunteers have been passing out fliers in various languages to neighbors, letting them know that public bins are not meant for residential garbage.
He said that the Sanitation Department is also ramping up enforcement at his request, with overnight stakeouts of public bins happening on several nights on Avenue U and Sheepshead Bay Road. Those caught dumping at the public bins are issued hefty fines.
The pol said the biggest struggle is with businesses, who due to language barriers don’t always understand that local laws require them to keep the sidewalks in front of their stores clean.
“We’re reaching out to all the stores to get them to comply with the local laws,” he said. “A lot of times, it’s just a language barrier, and once we get through that we see they make the effort.”