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 close to 400 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.

Bigbelly Bins

The Downtown Alliance has deployed Bigbelly solar-powered trash compactors and accompanying recycling receptacles throughout our district. These compactors dramatically cut down on the number of trash bags  that need to be collected and containerized for pickup by the city. To date, we operate and maintain over 178 of these paired units.

Trash Containerization

The Downtown Alliance is currently participating in the Department of Sanitation’s Clean Curb pilot program. Instead of placing public trash bags in piles on the sidewalk to await collection, our staff can now store those bags securely across six sealed, rodent-proof containers located throughout the district. The Department of Sanitation collects from them up to three times a day, helping us keep the district clean.

Streetscape Maintenance

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.

Graffiti Removal

Downtown Alliance crews regularly remove graffiti, stickers and illegal advertisements around Lower Manhattan. We are always on the lookout for graffiti or other vandalism, and 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].

Snow Removal

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 and 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.

Recycling Events

In an effort to reduce waste and promote recycling and reuse, the Downtown Alliance hosts two community recycling events a year, typically electronic waste in the spring and clothing/textiles in the fall, paired with a mobile shredding truck. To learn more about these events as well as how to recycle, compost and otherwise properly dispose of unwanted items, please check out our recycling guide here