NEW YORK - New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo says he is ready to send the National Guard into New York City to pick up the trash piling up on streets and sidewalks after complaints to his office about the garbage have mounted.
The economic fallout from the pandemic resulted in a $25 million cut from the Sanitation Department's budget in July. That meant a 60% reduction in pickups of public trash baskets. Baskets were being emptied every day pre-pandemic, now that may happen only three times a week.
"Garbage piling up, literally, people saying there is an odiferous environment because of the garbage piling up," said Cuomo. "I don't know what's going on in New York City. If they can't do it, I have offered to send in the National Guard to help pick up the garbage."
He went on to say, "The state can bring in trucks, personnel and clean up the city. I think that would be important. This is a public health pandemic. Cleanliness matters. We made millions of gallons of hand sanitizer, right? cleanliness matters."
The comments are the latest rebuke of Mayor Bill de Blasio's handling of city services. The pair have had a long-running feud.
Last month, former NYC Sanitation Commissioner Kathryn Garcia, who resigned to launch a mayoral bid, said the Sanitation Department had to cut back services amid the budget crunch.
"This is a point in time where the Sanitation Department doesn’t have the resources that it once did," said Garcia. "So we are trying to leverage whatever we can to make sure we are keeping the city as clean as we can."
"If the New York City Department of Sanitation and resources can't do it for one reason or another, I can deploy the National Guard, we'll come in. I understand there is a higher level because people are staying at home but in this environment, we don't need people complaining bout cleanliness of the city," said Cuomo.
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