Mayor Jenny Durkan is touting her “Clean City” initiative as a success based on volume alone — the program is claiming 1,000,000 pounds of trash collected in January from parks and neighborhoods across the city.
“The pandemic has taken a toll on our community in many unseen ways, one is the growing graffiti, trash and garbage in parks and on streets,” Durkan said in a press release on the 1 million pound milestone. “The Clean City Initiative has increased our focus on removing trash to begin to set Seattle up for clear road to recovery—for our businesses, schools, neighborhoods, and residents. We have much more work ahead to deliver for our residents and businesses.”
CHS reported here on Durkan’s $5.6M “temporary surge in increased trash pick-up” and “proactive cleaning in parks and open spaces.”
The city says the initiative has included clean-ups at Cal Anderson following the sweep of encampments at the park and around Miller Community Center where a large collection of tents and shelters has grown. “This work includes additional litter routes, weekly park and neighborhood focuses, increased trash pickup from encampments and RVs, and additional needle collection efforts,” the city says.
The pandemic and homelessness crisis has shifted many city resources and Seattle Parks says it is now focused on “providing critical services.”
Community clean-ups and smaller-scale projects to improve Cal Anderson, meanwhile, have continued following the city’s sweep of tents and activists from the park before Christmas.
The city’s Cal Anderson sweep, meanwhile, will cost it $10,000 after a settlement in a lawsuit brought by a camper at the park, the Seattle Times reports. The federal civil rights lawsuit brought on behalf “an unhoused resident of Seattle” Ada Yeager included a bid to halt the sweep which was denied. Yeager claimed to have been living in Cal Anderson since early June and alleged being subjected to “repeated harassment from the City of Seattle by way of ‘sweeps.’”
In January, the Clean City initiative work collected Collected 1,152, 571 pounds of trash, and disposed of 26,570 needles. Work crews made 293 visits to encampments to collect trash and garbage and cleaned graffiti from over 200 structures in over 60 locations across the city.
“If there is litter, trash, needles, or illegal dumped materials near you, you can always report via the City’s Find It, Fix It app, or call (206) 684-CITY (2489),” the city says.
The Clean City initiative is slated to continue through April.
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