Mayor Bill de Blasio Announces City Cleanup Corps Has Removed One Million Trash Bags

December 29, 2021

Mayor Bill de Blasio today announced that the City Cleanup Corps (CCC) has removed more than one million bags of trash citywide.

Among other recent milestones and expansions, since the program’s launch in April 2021.

The New Deal-inspired economic recovery initiative supports communities, businesses, and tourism by refreshing and revitalizing public spaces.

As of December 20, 2021, CCC members had hand-swept nearly 70,000 block faces, maintained more than 40,000 rain gardens, planted over 10,000 plants across the five boroughs, and painted over 630 properties that had been defaced with graffiti.

“To build a recovery for all New Yorkers, we knew that supporting our city’s workforce, helping people get back on their feet, and revitalizing our public spaces were critical,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “That was a shared vision across the City agencies, community-based organizations, and elected officials who have participated in the City Cleanup Corps, and that vision has been realized through the tremendous work of the over 10,000 Corps members across the five boroughs. We thank the CCC and our partners for helping beautify New York City and leading the nation’s economic recovery.”

Among the latest City Cleanup Corps program milestones and expansions are:

  • A partnership with the New York City Day Laborer Coalition to expand access to hands-on work experience and training for low-income workers;
  • New programs, Youth Sustainability Corps (YSC) and Green Applied Projects for Parks x Pathways to Graduation (GAPP x P2G), to support and invest in young adults; and,
  • The completion of 21 public art projects through BeautifyNYC to revitalize neighborhoods and empower communities.

“When we launched the City Cleanup Corps in April, we had clear goals to expand access to work experience and training for New Yorkers, and to restore and refresh our public spaces,” said Deputy Mayor for Strategic Policy Initiatives J. Phillip Thompson. “Today, we celebrate program expansions that build on those goals, and milestones that demonstrate the positive impact the Corps has had on our communities and will continue to have on the careers of Corps members, low-wage workers, and youth.”

“Since its inception during an unprecedented time in our City’s history, the City Cleanup Corps has been a truly unique and effective team effort thanks to our partnership with more than two dozen City agencies and community-based organizations,” said Acting Director of the Mayor’s Office of Workforce Development Chris Neale who leads the City Cleanup Corps. “These milestones and expansions are a testament to the collaboration and determination of Corps partners and members to serve our communities. We look forward to continuing our work to empower our Corps members with hands-on experience and training to prepare them for successful careers.”

Through the collaboration of more than two dozen City agencies and community-based organizations, members of the CCC tend to the needs of neighborhoods by hand-sweeping public spaces, cleaning defaced properties, power-washing sidewalks, tending to green spaces, and creating community murals, among other efforts to help bolster New York City’s economy.

Since its inception, the CCC has employed more than 10,000 New Yorkers, and after surpassing this hiring goal, the program is supporting the extension of existing CCC members’ tenures through the end of Fiscal Year 2021, alongside the latest program expansions.

Partnership with NYC Day Laborer Coalition to Expand Access to Hands-on Work Experience and Training for Low-Income Workers

​​Through a partnership with the New York City Day Laborer Coalition and the New York City Council, low-income workers will receive compensated training and work experience in cleaning, community gardening, and landscaping in partnership with community-based organizations and local businesses.

The NYC Day Laborer Coalition is composed of community-based organizations New Immigrant Community Empowerment, Third Sector New England/Worker’s Justice Project, Staten Island Community Job Center – La Colmena, Northern Manhattan Coalition for Immigrant Rights, and Catholic Charities Community Services, Archdiocese of New York.

These organizations were collectively allocated nearly $3 million in federal American Rescue Plan Act funding under the Speaker’s Initiative as part of the City Cleanup Corps program.

New Programs to Support and Invest in Young Adults

Youth Sustainability Corps (YSC)

The New York City Department of Parks & Recreation (NYC Parks) has partnered with the Department of Youth and Community Development (DYCD), the Mayor’s Office of Youth Employment, and the City Cleanup Corps to develop the very first Youth Sustainability Corps (YSC).

The YSC is a specialized Parks green job internship program within DYCD’s Work Learn Grow program where students gain work readiness, explore careers in the green economy, and receive targeted employee training and skills development with a focus on environmental justice and the City’s overall recovery.

Parks’ YSC students will get hands-on experience in the full scope of green roof installation, and learn about systemic environmental challenges and a broad range of sustainable solutions NYC Parks is piloting.

These program components, combined and funded through Mayor de Blasio’s City Cleanup Corps economic recovery program, will serve 30 young people from New York City schools with 225 hours of program, for total earnings of $3,375 per student.

Green Applied Projects for Parks x Pathways to Graduation (GAPP x P2G)

Through a collaboration between NYC Parks and the New York City Department of Education (DOE), the City Cleanup Corps is also funding a new work-study program, Green Applied Projects for Parks x Pathways to Graduation (GAPP x P2G).

The program fosters career readiness and skills-building through practical application: students served will tackle a complete project from start to finish—for instance, building, blazing, and landscaping a trail—alongside Parks Department employees.

In coordination with the DOE, the program allows students to work and attend high school equivalency classes in the same location, on the same day, and aims to help participants build a strong peer network to support them in school and through their careers.

The nearly $1 million work-study pilot funded by Mayor de Blasio will serve 36 New Yorkers, between ages 18 to 30, who have been disengaged from work and school, and may have been involved in the justice system. The pilot will run 40 hours a week, for 26 weeks, for a total earnings of $16,068 per participant plus transportation costs.

Completion of 21 Public Art Projects to Revitalize Neighborhoods and Empower Communities

In partnership with the City Artist Corps, NYC Department of Probation, and Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute, City Cleanup Corps supported Beautify NYC, a program through which local artists and young people collaborated on art projects to revitalize community spaces.

From July to November, local arts organizations ran weekly project-based workshops for youth ages 16 to 24 across a variety of artistic disciplines, with both artists and young people paid for their work.

The 21 projects, which ranged from designing tree guards to painting colorful murals, took place in seven neighborhoods across the City with Neighborhood Opportunity Network (NeON) Centers:  East New York, Jamaica, Brownsville, Bedford-Stuyvesant, Harlem, and the South Bronx. Each project culminated in a final event that connected artists, young people, and organizations to the broader community.

Beautify NYC leveraged the power of art and culture to advance recovery in some of the areas most impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. An additional number of workshops will continue through June 2022.

Click here to watch a video recap of the Beautify NYC projects.

The City Cleanup Corps has had a significant impact on the local New Yorkers employed by the program, the supervisors they report to, and the communities CCC members have served. To read stories about the impact of this work, visit the CCC Instagram and Facebook Page.

“Through City Cleanup Corps’ support, Beautify NYC provided youth across the boroughs opportunities to explore the transformative power of art while centering our communities,” said Department of Cultural Affairs Commissioner Gonzalo Casals. “Just as they have throughout the pandemic, our City’s arts community—now joined by Beautify NYC’s promising young artists—have demonstrated how our cultural heritage and creative energy brings New Yorkers together, brightens our neighborhoods, and will help communities recover, now and in the future.”

“As New York City’s Strongest pick up 12,000 tons of trash and recycling every day, City Cleanup Corps members have been valuable partners in our shared mission of keeping our city clean and safe,” said Department of Sanitation Commissioner Edward Grayson. “We applaud the Corps on today’s milestone and their ongoing work in the revitalization of our city. With nearly 1,000 new Sanitation Workers joining our team this year, the Department of Sanitation looks forward to continued partnership with the Corps’ expanded programs in the months ahead.”

“We congratulate NYC Cleanup Corps for reaching this impressive milestone,” said Department of Transportation Commissioner Hank Gutman. “The Cleanup Corps provides vital maintenance services to Open Streets locations, plazas, and other public spaces, and we are happy the program will expand and continue to keep our public spaces clean and vibrant.”

“The de Blasio Administration’s workforce development strategy has focused on developing young people’s workforce readiness in growing industries. Thanks to supporting from the City Cleanup Corps, Parks is leveraging the talent and expertise of our staff to teach the next generation of green innovators through our Youth Sustainability Corps and GAPP x P2G program,” said NYC Parks Commissioner Gabrielle Fialkoff. “The City Cleanup Corps has made a significant impact on the lives of New Yorkers and proven to be an invaluable asset as we work towards recovery in every borough.”

“Every opportunity we have to invest in and support our young adults is valuable for the individual and for our city as a whole,” said Schools Chancellor Meisha Porter. “We are so excited to partner with NYC Parks on Green Applied Projects for Parks x Pathways to Graduation. This incredible work-study program funded by the City Cleanup Corps will empower young adults by kick-starting their careers, forging strong peer networks, and fostering important professional skills all while revitalizing our beautiful public spaces.”

“DYCD and the Work, Learn, Grow (WLG) program are proud to partner with NYC Parks and the City Cleanup Corps on the exciting Youth Sustainability Corps, which introduces young people to green careers, environmental justice, and opportunities such as repurposing rooftops to help us combat climate change and extreme weather events. High schoolers interning with the Youth Sustainability Corps will get hands-on training while gaining work readiness skills and exploring careers with in-demand industries,” said Department of Youth and Community Development Commissioner Bill Chong.

“The City Cleanup Corps has been a terrific help in ensuring the City’s drainage infrastructure is operating as efficiently as possible,” said Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Vincent Sapienza. “The Cleanup Corps has helped to clear trash and debris from catch basins and curbside rain gardens across the city. This is an important reminder that all New Yorkers can play a part in making New York a more livable city and support our drainage system by not littering on our streets.”

“The City Cleanup Corps has helped revitalize and rebuild New York City’s communities over the last nine months, and its reach continues to grow. CCC was instrumental in following the devastating effects of Hurricane Ida by supporting New Yorkers during their time of need. We look forward to collaborating with the CCC as we continue our mission to help New Yorkers prepare for, respond to, and recover from emergencies,” said New York City Emergency Management Acting Commissioner Andrew D’Amora.

“Made possible through the support of the City Cleanup Corps and City Artist Corps, Beautify NYC embodies our commitment to our young people to learn new skills, provide opportunities for artistic expression, strengthen community engagement, and collaborate with strategic partners like Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute to achieve outcomes with lasting impact in our great city,” said NYC Probation Commissioner Ana M. Bermúdez.

“The CCC’s new milestones are a testament to how instrumental this initiative has been in collaborating with community-based organizations to continue the City’s economic recovery. MOIA congratulates the City on their new partnership with the New York City Day Laborer Coalition. This partnership, along with the others, will help expand access to training and job opportunities to our immigrant communities,” said Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs Commissioner Raquel Batista.

“The City Cleanup Corps embodies this Administration’s commitment to a fair, equitable, and inclusive recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic that provides thousands of New Yorkers with employment opportunities, while also supporting and revitalizing communities across the five boroughs,” said HRA Administrator Gary Jenkins. “DSS-HRA is proud to play a role in this innovative program, and we extend our gratitude to the members of the City Cleanup Corps for the on-the-ground results they have accomplished in making New York City a brighter, cleaner, more welcoming city for all.”

“The City Cleanup Corps delivers the tangible quality of life improvements for NYCHA campuses while providing our residents with a meaningful opportunity to take part in the City’s economic recovery,” said NYC Housing Authority Chair & CEO Greg Russ. “The accomplishments that Corps members have achieved in beautifying public spaces throughout New York City have created community-enhancing benefits that will resonate for years to come.”

“City Cleanup Corps is a win for our local economy and communities — putting New Yorkers back to work while helping make our city cleaner and greener. By prioritizing the communities hit hardest by the pandemic, the City is ensuring equity is central to our recovery,” said Sideya Sherman, Executive Director, Taskforce on Racial Inclusion & Equity and Executive Vice President, Community Engagement & Partnerships, NYCHA. “Cleanup Corps members have already had a tremendous impact on our city—beautifying parks, public spaces, streetscapes, and residential communities, like NYCHA. We are grateful for their dedication and service and applaud the program expansions, which will help Corps members access even more opportunities for training and advancement.”

“YMI is proud to support the City Cleanup Corps, which provided jobs to thousands of young people to beautify their neighborhoods, to hone their skills, and to ultimately be proud of the results of their work,” said Jordan Stockdale, Executive Director of the Young Men’s Initiative.

…we have seen a significant impact along our commercial corridors, especially along 125th Street from Park to 3rd Avenues…

“The City Cleanup Corps has played an active role in providing supplemental sanitation services and since its inception, we have seen a significant impact along our commercial corridors, especially along 125th Street from Park to 3rd Avenues (in Harlem),” said Council Member Diana Ayala. “The past two years we have seen an increase in litter throughout New York City and having the City Cleanup Corps has made a big difference.  Their presence has been noticed and I am pleased with the consistent clean-up in the neighborhood.”

“COVID-19 completely changed the landscape of our communities in New York City,” said Council Member Peter Koo. “We regularly saw overflowing trash cans on our sidewalks and piles of garbage within our local parks. Partnering with the City Cleanup Corps helped to address these outstanding community concerns and their efforts are helping to revitalize our City at a faster pace. Thank you to the more than two dozen City agencies and CBOs, and thousands of Corps Members for their hard work, and congratulations on this important milestone!”

“The City Cleanup Corps is emblematic of what is possible when we make significant investments in our communities, and our efforts to achieve the equitable recovery New Yorkers deserve. I am proud to celebrate the successes of the City Cleanup Corps, which has not only served to make New York City a safer and cleaner place to live, work, play, and thrive, but has also created thousands of jobs across the five boroughs, ensuring all New Yorkers are able to pursue economic revitalization. I look forward to the continued success of this program in the new year and beyond,” said Council Member Carlina Rivera.

“From the onset of the COVID19 pandemic, day laborer centers have served as disaster relief and recovery centers and have played a significant role in protecting the safety and rights of essential low-income workers during this crisis. As part of the City Cleanup Corps program, the New York City Day Laborer Coalition will continue to provide training and work experience opportunities to low-income workers. The New York City Day Laborer Coalition is thankful to the support of the New York City Council and Mayor Bill de Blasio,” stated the New York City Day Laborer Coalition.

“Carnegie Hall is thrilled to be a part of the City Cleanup Corps through Beautify NYC, a massive effort to support and invest in local artists, arts organizations, young people, and communities across New York City,” said Sarah Johnson, Chief Education Officer and Director of Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute. “We know the incredible power of the arts to provide opportunities for growth, connection, and healing. It’s meaningful for us to be able to employ artists and support young people across the five boroughs, helping to aid communities who have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Our cultural community is an integral part of what makes New York, New York and we’re proud of their work over the past five months.”

“The Doe Fund congratulates Mayor de Blasio and our CCC partners on reaching this milestone. Our crews from Ready, Willing & Able have demonstrated the powerful impact achieved by investing in human capital through expanding community improvement services to benefit all New Yorkers,” said Isabel McDevitt, Executive Vice President of The Doe Fund. “We look forward to building upon the CCC with Mayor Adams in order to continue enhancing the quality of life, public safety, and job opportunities for all.”

“The HOPE Program is honored to partner with the New York City Cleanup Corps to restore public spaces and get New Yorkers back to work,” said Jennifer Mitchell, Executive Director of The HOPE Program. “Our trainees have been busy this year building and maintaining rain gardens, removing invasive species in essential green spaces to allow native plants to thrive, and planting and maintaining Greenstreet medians. We look forward to our continued partnership and can’t wait to see what 2022 brings!”

“The Mayor’s initiative allowed The Hort to launch and advance the public service careers of more than 100 individuals. These motivated employees improved public spaces for all New Yorkers during this protracted crisis,” said Sara Hobel, Executive Director, The Horticultural Society of New York.

“City Cleanup Corps is transforming parks and open spaces across Jamaica Bay and the Rockaway peninsula. Thanks to these efforts, parks, and shorelines are cleaner, the blight of graffiti has been removed from public spaces and our recovery is moving in the right direction. Most importantly, as we navigate the pandemic together, the city has recognized that our parks play an essential role in our recovery and the Conservancy is grateful to support the Corps to help improve these spaces,” said Alex Zablocki, Executive Director, Jamaica Bay-Rockaway Parks Conservancy. “The Jamaica Bay-Rockaway Parks Conservancy extends our thanks and appreciation to our City Cleanup Corps members, and to Mayor Bill de Blasio, agency staff, and our non-profit partner in this program, the Jewish Community of Greater Coney Island, for allowing us to bring this much-needed service to the Jamaica Bay and Rockaway community, and offer local, good-paying jobs to residents.”

“Jewish Community Council of Greater Coney Island (JCCGCI) has been honored to participate in the City Cleanup Corps. Thanks to this visionary opportunity, we have established 123 worksites throughout the five boroughs and served as a catalyst for the transformative benefit to both the institutions, businesses and communities which benefit from cleanup and beautification activities as well as to the more than 1,200 participating interns we recruited, hired, assigned and supervise, who are being offered a dignified path out of poverty with hope for a brighter future,” said Rabbi Moshe Wiener, Executive Director of the Jewish Community Council of Greater Coney Island (JCCGCI). “An important component of pandemic recovery, this initiative is a shining example of progressive human service intervention. JCCGCI joins our worksite partners and proud interns to applaud Mayor de Blasio for yet another impactful initiative.”

“Klēn Space Inc. is honored to be a part of the City Cleanup Corps’ ambitious initiatives and celebrates the tremendous milestones it has already reached,” said Brandon Engholm, Principal at Klēn Space Inc. “Residents and business owners in the communities we serve continuously praise the beneficial impacts of this initiative that our crews are helping to create. We are excited to continue with this project to surpass new milestones.”

Since the inception of the partnership, it has been a great success and 125th Street has never looked better.

“For over 30 years, Positive Workforce has placed over 25,000 men and women to work in the construction industry,” said Gary Linares, Program Director at Positive Workforce. “Now with the City Cleanup Corps, we are keeping our streets clean with people who live in the community. Since the inception of the partnership, it has been a great success and 125th Street (in Harlem) has never looked better. City Cleanup Corps is giving community members the opportunity to be employed during the pandemic, to build a better life and place for their kids in their own backyard, and to participate in building up their community.”

“We are thrilled to have hosted over 20 Cleanup Corps members in Times Square. They have been pivotal support to our sanitation team in keeping Times Square clean, beautiful, and welcoming to all who visit. Thank you, Mayor de Blasio, for highlighting the program in Times Square this past summer, giving us and other organizations this opportunity during this critical point in the COVID-19 recovery, and connecting us with talented New Yorkers. In fact, we just hired two Cleanup Corps members as full-time Times Square Alliance staff and we are excited to officially welcome them as part of our team,” said Tom Harris, President of the Times Square Alliance.

“As the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic continues to be felt, our open spaces here in New York City are more important than ever,” said Clare Newman, President and CEO of the Trust for Governors Island. “We congratulate the City Cleanup Corps on these milestones, and are proud to work together to ensure the vast open space on Governors Island remains welcoming and accessible for all New Yorkers—especially now in the Island’s first-ever public winter season.”

“Thanks to the City Cleanup Corps, we have been able to increase the size of our Clean Team by nearly tenfold…”

“Thanks to the City Cleanup Corps, we have been able to increase the size of our Clean Team by nearly tenfold,” said Carey King, Director of East Harlem nonprofit Uptown Grand Central. “For decades, East 125th Street has had the reputation of being a corridor that was impossible to keep clean. Now, for the first time in recent memory, we have a corridor that is starting to look as vibrant and thriving as we know it can be. We are so grateful for our ​continued partnership with CCC.”

“The impact of the City Cleanup Corps on our community goes beyond a cleaner neighborhood. Through this program, Urban Upbound has been able to engage more public housing residents and to provide them with employment and professional development. They also have received financial counseling to assist them with planning and saving for their future plans,” said Bishop Mitchell Taylor, CEO and Co-Founder of Urban Upbound. “We look forward to more partnerships that support our communities as we break the cycle of poverty and inequity in public housing.”

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