In 2014, Staten Island Borough President James Oddo launched Clean Up Staten Island to stop the borough’s “litter epidemic.” Clean Up Staten Island created several tools for residents, businesses and elected officials to help curb the borough’s litter problem. Oddo’s approach is five-fold:
1. Clean up litter as quickly as possible
2. Coordinate with other elected officials and agencies to ensure there are no duplicative efforts
3. Encourage non-government organizations, including businesses and nonprofit organizations, to become part of the solution
4. Engage Staten Islanders to be aware of the issue and to make it a norm to clean litter whenever the can through creative means
5. Explore new technologies that can help us more efficiently clean litter
Clean Up Staten Island bears some resemblance to Curb Your Litter: Greenpoint. Both programs target local businesses to maintain the street and sidewalk in front of their storefronts, and both include ways for residents to share input via smartphones.
After running the project for a year, the office released Clean Up Staten Island Report which details the accomplishments of the program. Major highlights include the establishment of an on-call litter response team, the allocation of $68,500 to each of Staten Island’s three City Council members to start their own litter initiatives. We commend BP Oddo’s commitment to tackling his Borough’s litter problem with such a comprehensive campaign.
Our personal favorite from the program’s list of accomplishments is the above Trash Talk poster campaign, which features a handful of residents putting the pressure on their neighbors to curb their litter problem. According to Oddo, “The most frustrating part of the current litter epidemic is that Staten Islanders themselves cause it. No one else can be blamed. It is a self-inflicted wound.” We couldn’t agree more!