ST. GEORGE — Teenage volunteers will help clean up litter from the train stations around Staten Island, part of a push by elected officials to tidy up the borough.
Borough President James Oddo and City Councilman Steven Matteo announced on Thursday that United Activities Unlimited, a nonprofit that provides after school and summer services for teenagers, will join Oddo's "Clean Team" and pick up trash from train stations.
"We want to make those young people aware that this is your borough," said Lou DeLuca, executive director of UAU. "Staten Island is a great place and we need to take ownership."
From July to August, the teams will clean up all 22 train stations around the borough. This is part of a recent push by Oddo and Staten Island's City Council members to clean the streets and get nonprofits on board.
Earlier this month, they released a six-part plan to clean up the streets of Staten Island, which includes a mobile response team and calling on government agencies to tidy up their land.
"Every spring, litter starts up again," Matteo said. "It just doesn't end. It's important for us to step in and clean up spots where the government can't."
Matteo said that he plans to use parts of his discretionary funding next year to keep the cleanup efforts going, and Oddo said his office was working on an advertisement campaign to be posted in local businesses.
He said the ads will try to remind Staten Islanders to throw away their food containers in trash cans, not on the streets of the borough, and take pride in where they live.
"To me it is selfish to open up your car window and throw out your McDonald's bag with 14 Big Mac wrappers and your smoothie on Richmond Road," he said. "To me it's selfish that you don't care about what this borough looks like, to treat our community like your private garbage pail."