JULY 2002
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Garbage Cleanup

From Sing Tao Daily
June 11, 2002

At a June 10 Chinese Community Center (CCC) general meeting, community committee members unanimously agreed to allocate $30,000 to hire a cleaning company to combat the problem of garbage on the streets, which is only expected to worsen as the summer progresses. This move will provide Chinatown residents and visitors with fresh, clean air.

According to committee member Chen Shangren, the refuse that restaurants pile up on the streets spoils easily in the summertime.

In addition, the uneven roads facilitate the accumulation of oily liquids oozing out of the garbage, which fouls up the air and Chinatown’s image. Therefore, he suggested that the streets be washed during the summer. According to his estimates, approximately $30,000 would be needed to ensure street cleaning six days a week.

Contributions of $100 to $200 from each of the 60 members of the CCC Committee will total approximately $10,000; funds from businesses, which will benefit from the service, should not be too difficult to obtain and will provide for the rest. However, some members voiced concern that certain unsavory establishments might simply leave the responsibility of cleaning up their own storefronts to the CCC. It would be necessary to educate restaurant owners on how to properly dispose of their garbage.

It was also mentioned that as New York City water reserves are low, washing streets freely might result in a fine. Even though the CCC is willing to take the lead in the clean-up, it needs to apply to the government for permission, which should not be a problem as Wall Street, Rockefeller Center, and other such areas have obtained it. CCC director Wu Tingdian remarked that he met with several business owners privately last week to discuss this matter, and they were quite supportive.

In addition, CCC representatives recently met with the deputy director of the Department of Transportation. They anticipate that potholes throughout Chinatown will be filled in by the end of the month, avoiding the accumulation of unpleasant puddles.

Another affair brought up at the meeting includes the creation of a "Chinatown Development Committee" which will focus on the long term re-development of the Lower East Side. The CCC expects this committee to maintain active communication with the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation (LMDC) on rebuilding the Chinatown economy. For the moment, the Chinatown Development Committee is overseeing Mid-Autumn and Spring Festival activities. Li Zongbao, a member of Community Board 2, has been invited to join this committee.

The CCC also plans to hire public relations and traffic consultants. Although it has made numerous contributions to the community, such as the approximately $300,000 of aid it gave to New York Chinese School last year, many do not know of its deeds, so the CCC plans to make itself known to the outside world through mainstream media by hiring L.S. Public Relation Inc., said Li Zongbao. The CCC is also hiring an individual with plenty of administrative experience as a traffic consultant.

At potential meetings with the Department of Transportation regarding transportation issues, the CCC might be unable to provide concrete solutions, at which point such a consultant would be immensely helpful. For example, the government is currently planning to build a subway line from 65th Street to Wall Street, but unfortunately has not taken Chinatown into account. However, if the CCC had a consultant who knew whether or not the ground beneath Confucius Tower could conceivably be used as a train station, it would be able to provide a concrete recommendation to the government.

Translated from Chinese by Kelvin K. Wu

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