Our 60-person Sanitation team works tirelessly to keep Lower Manhattan clean, beautiful, and graffiti-free. While legally barred from handling residential waste, the Downtown Alliance supplements the sanitation services provided by the city (for residential waste) and private carters (for commercial waste) by servicing over 500 public trash and recycling receptacles, including our solar powered Big Belly units, on a daily basis. The team also sweeps the streets and sidewalks 2-3 times daily to remove litter (power washing as needed), and when it snows, they’re among the first on the streets to quickly clear bus stops, fire hydrants, corners, and crosswalks to create clear and accessible pathways.
If you are a resident, building manager or property owner interested in reducing the impact of residential waste in Lower Manhattan, please refer to our Residential Sanitation Resource Guide.
The Downtown Alliance has deployed Big Belly solar-powered trash compactors and accompanying recycling receptacles throughout our district. These compactors dramatically cut down on the number of trash bags placed along the district’s narrow public sidewalks awaiting pickup from the city. To date, we operate and maintain over 178 of these units.
The Alliance maintains a variety of street furniture throughout the district. Our crews are responsible for cleaning and repairing these elements as needed, and repainting them seasonally to keep them looking fresh and clean.
Downtown Alliance crews regularly remove graffiti, stickers and illegal advertisements around Lower Manhattan. Always on the lookout for graffiti or other vandalism we welcome alerts from building owners and local merchants. Once alerted, we’ll head to the spot promptly for removal. To report graffiti or other vandalism, e-mail [email protected].
Following snowfall, Alliance staff gets to work clearing bus stops, fire hydrants, all corner caps, plaza surfaces, sidewalks and crosswalks to create clear and accessible pathways. In addition to coordinating with the Department of Sanitation, our crews prioritize areas by taking into account pedestrian traffic and public transportation.
Storm Preparation & Response
When a potential storm or hurricane approaches, we coordinate closely with the Department of Sanitation, the Office of Emergency Management, and the Department of Transportation for an effective response.
Prior to the storm, we rearrange our work schedules and increase personnel to perform pre-storm cleanings, remove and relocate any wire-mesh trash cans, secure outdoor furniture and ensure all our vehicles and equipment are ready for a prompt response.
When the storm passes, our crews are quick to identify and assist the city in remediating any unsafe conditions, and perform a thorough cleaning and clearing of debris to get the district back to business as usual in a timely manner.
Downtown Public Compost Pilot Program
Here’s your chance to do some good for the planet: Participate in the Downtown Public Compost Pilot, the first-of-its-kind, secured, unmanned, public composting program! These 10 bins located across Lower Manhattan are accessible 24/7 and can be unlocked through a mobile app.