City of Albuquerque hopes to expand its cleanup crew

Local News

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The city’s been paying a company to attack the litter downtown. Now, they want to take the campaign to another busy area.

The push for a cleaner city started downtown and now it’s going to move into Nob Hill. “I think it’s constantly improving. I think it’s a work in progress downtown,” says Susan Sullivan.

The City of Albuquerque partnered Block by Block, a cleaning and ambassador service, back in 2016. “If the city didn’t do it there would just be hundreds and hundreds of pounds of trash everywhere,” says Roy Johnson.

Downtown business owners say Block by Block has changed the look of downtown. “Before Block by Block, there was trash on the street and there was gum on the sidewalk and there was graffiti on the walls, and now Block by Block takes care of all that,” Johnson.

But the city doesn’t want the extra cleanup effort to stop downtown. The Solid Waste Department wants to spend an additional $500,000 to move the clean-up effort into Nob Hill. “The additional funds are because we expanded into Nob Hill, which shows the program is a tremendous success,” says Solid Waste Director Matthew Whelan.

Whelan says that half a million dollars will fund the three-person crew in Nob Hill for the next four years. “Local businesses really like the presence, they like having them in the area,” Whelan says.

There will be three ambassadors out cleaning in Nob Hill six days a week — and they do more than clean. They also assist tourists and build relationships with business owners.

City council will have to sign off on the new deal. The city’s contract with Block by Block already pays the company $325,000 a year to clean up downtown.

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