On Thursday, January 11th, Mayor Eric Adams dismissed the previously announced elimination of thousands of litter baskets throughout the city.
The mayor’s announcement comes after a series of budget rollbacks by the Adams administration, initially planning a nearly 40% reduction in the city’s garbage cans to save approximately $25 million in the next fiscal year.
“I’m happy to announce that we will be able to restore funding for DSNY’s litter basket service,” Adams stated at City Hall.
The restoration ensures the maintenance of around 23,000 litter baskets and the continued installation of modernized versions.
“We’re building a city where New Yorkers won’t have to dodge rats or tiptoe around mountains of smelly black bags anymore,” Mayor Adams said.
Adams also reinstated the Parks Opportunity Program, an employment initiative through the Park Department, marking another reversal in the series of budget cuts first introduced in November.
These initial reductions were part of a broader attempt to balance the city’s budget, deeply affected by the costs of accommodating thousands of asylum-seekers.
The city’s financial strategy initially included three rounds of 5% budget tightening, reducing shelter costs, and lowering the projected expenditure for the migrant crisis from $12 billion to $10 billion through the fiscal year 2025.
More reversals of these budget cuts are anticipated, though details on which programs or initiatives will be revived remain uncertain.
Despite these changes, the Adams administration is preparing for another round of budget cuts, expected to impact nearly every city agency.
This reversal of services has sparked criticism from the City Council, which believes that the initial budget projections were excessively conservative, leading to broad and unnecessary cuts.
“This latest move to restore litter basket services and the Parks Opportunity Program only reinforces the fact that these and many other mid-year cuts were unnecessary,” expressed Speaker Adrienne Adams and Finance Chair Justin Brannan in a joint statement.
The City Council is urging the Administration to reconsider its budgeting strategy and prioritize essential services for New Yorkers.
Responding to the criticism, Mayor Adams defended his approach, saying, “What you’re seeing is fiscal intelligence.”
He stressed the importance of making tough decisions during challenging times, indicating a balance between fiscal responsibility and maintaining vital city services.