UPPER EAST SIDE — More than 100 intersections across the Upper East Side are getting spiffy new trash cans over the next several days to help curb littering in the neighborhood.
Taking cues from the community about trash spilling out of garbage bins and onto sidewalks, Councilman Ben Kallos set aside $154,780 of city discretionary funds to purchase 284 "High-End Litter Baskets," which cost $525 each.
The new cans are larger than the typical bins found on many street corners and feature narrower openings at the top to prevent spillage, as well as covered tops to discourage "that extra coffee cup," according to Sanitation Commissioner Kathryn Garcia, who unveiled the bins alongside Kallos Friday outside the East 86th Street Second Avenue Subway Station.
The cans will be placed throughout the Upper East Side along York, East End, First, Second, Third and Lexington avenues, between 59th to 96th streets.
"I am here to clean up the Upper East Side with larger trash cans on every corner that can prevent overflow and litter that spills onto the streets,” Kallos said at the event. “I promise a new large trash can on every corner that needs one to keep our streets clean. I encourage any resident whose corner needs a new trash can or even a second large trash can to reach out so we can clean up our neighborhood together.”
The councilman said he had been prioritizing his discretionary spending for street cleaning through organizations like the Doe Fund, before hearing that the new baskets were fixing some of the same litter problems.
Andrew Fine, a board member of the East 86th Street Association who has pushed for more and better bins, said that the same kind of cans placed in the neighborhood last year have "made a tangible difference on the street."
"This marks a great improvement to the quality of life of Upper East Siders," he said.
Barry Schneider, president of the East Sixties Neighborhood Association, said the neighborhood was in need of some cleaning up.
"Soon, litter-free sidewalks will once again be the new normal in our neighborhood — a sure sign of a vibrant, reinvigorated community," he said in a statement.