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PR- 024-05
January 18, 2005


CompStat for Cleanliness Brings Sweeping Results After First Year

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Department of Sanitation (DSNY) Commissioner John J. Doherty today announced the expansion of Operation N.I.C.E., (Neighborhood Intensive Cleanup Effort). N.I.C.E. operated for the last year in the 18 sanitation districts which received the lowest ratings on the independent sanitation cleanliness scorecard. The program raised the average of all the districts targeted for improvement by more than 15 points from 71 to 86 and cleaned 1,322 vacant lots.  Because of the success of the program, these innovative strategies are being expanded to all 59 sanitation districts citywide.  The announcement was made at the Audrey Johnson Day Care Center in Bushwick, a community whose scorecard rating increased more than 16 points since the inception of Operation N.I.C.E. 

"As I said at the State of the City, Operation N.I.C.E. started as a comprehensive, cleaning initiative a year ago," said Mayor Bloomberg.  "Since then, we have seen a marked improvement in all 18 of the participating sanitation districts that needed a boost in their cleanliness and quality of life.  Operation N.I.C.E. has successfully identified and cleaned litter strewn lots and streets and has helped renew New Yorkers' faith that their government is responsive to their needs.  As a result, New York City's streets are cleaner than they have been in 30 years and the program is being expanded to every one of the City's 59 sanitation districts. Operation N.I.C.E. has demonstrated that no problem is intractable if government and the community work together." 

"The Department of Sanitation continues to strive to make this City one of the cleanest in the nation," said Commissioner Doherty.  "Operation N.I.C.E. is an important program that partners Sanitation efforts with other City Agencies, concerned residents, civic associations, local leaders, and volunteer groups with the single goal to promote and bring to fruition cleaner streets and rubbish free vacant lots.  I am proud of this coalition that has worked to make a visible difference in our City.  I look forward to expanding the program Citywide and replicating the strategies and techniques that have produced such a significant improvement in the quality of life in the 18 sanitation districts where it has operated."

Operation N.IC.E. utilizes a block by block approach to street cleanliness. Using an independent cleanliness scorecard as a measurement tool, District Superintendents are held accountable by DSNY leadership for each block within their command. When areas are identified either by the scorecard, calls to 311 or by the community, DSNY assets are reassigned and the condition is corrected. District Superintendents are given additional flexibility to assign resources where they are needed and work with the community to ameliorate persistent problems.

In addition to closely monitoring public property, DSNY has increased interaction with the community and other City agencies to remediate garbage-strewn vacant lots and storefronts and make sure property owners keep their sidewalks clean.  DSNY community affairs personnel interact with local communities in English, Chinese, Korean, Yiddish, Russian and Spanish providing shopkeepers and property owners with flyers and information on sanitation regulations and tips on how to increase street cleanliness. Over the last year they helped neighborhoods improve their cleanliness by providing technical support, equipment, encouraging and assisting volunteer activities and enrolling thousands of businesses and homeowners in the adopt-a-basket campaign which provides participants with plastic bags to line street litter baskets.  The adopt-a-basket campaign provides local storeowners with trash bags and allows them to empty street baskets by putting the bagged trash curbside.  This stops overflowing wastebaskets that causes street litter. Finally, enforcement agents monitor known illegal dumping sites and impound the vehicles of offenders.

For the last year Operation N.I.C.E. has improved scorecard ratings in nine sanitation districts in Brooklyn covering the following neighborhoods: Williamsburg, Bushwick, Boerum Hill, Carrol Gardens, Park Slope, Sunset Park, Crownheights, Boro Park, Dahilll, Kensington, Midwood, Flatbush, East Flatbush and Brownsville, four districts in Manhattan covering Chinatown, Morningside Heights, Central Harlem, East Harlem and Washington Heights, three districts in the Bronx covering Concourse Village, East Concourse, Highbridge, Mt. Eden, West Concourse, Tremont, University Heights and Kingsbridge, and two districts in Queens covering Astoria, Elmhurst and Corona.


Edward Skyler / Jordan Barowitz   (212) 788-2958

Vito Turso   (Department of Sanitation)
(646) 885-5020

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