Several weeks ago, my administration announced "Operation: Clean Sweep," a zero-tolerance policy on litter in Hoboken. Since its inception, I have heard some concerns from individual homeowners over exactly how this new policy would affect them. To help alleviate these concerns, I would like to clarify why there is a need for such a policy, and then explain exactly how this policy is being enforced.
Simply stated, Hoboken needs a tough policy on excessive litter to alleviate inconvenience to homeowners, and to mitigate the public health risks that are posed by excessive litter.
Clean streets and neighborhoods are an important goal of my administration. Soon after taking office last July, my administration found that excessive litter was accumulating at multi-unit properties, where no single individual was responsible for sanitation, and was then blown onto adjacent properties and city streets. This is unfair to homeowners.
A central goal of Operation: Clean Sweep is to use strong enforcement measures to ensure that owners of multi-unit properties, who often do not live in Hoboken, take responsibility for keeping their properties - and our neighborhoods - free of litter.
Excessive litter and debris is more than just unsightly; it can also pose a public health risk. If left for long enough periods, it can become a harborage for rodents and insects, which in turn could lead to unsafe conditions not only on our streets, but in our homes. These are the conditions that Operation: Clean Sweep is specifically designed to prevent.
Inconvenience to homeowners and the public health risks posed by litter are the reasons why my administration implemented Operation: Clean Sweep. Notwithstanding the need for tough policy, our enforcement is, and will continue to be, cautious and deliberate.
To date, the City of Hoboken has issued over 200 summonses. In most instances, the recipient has been the owner of a multi-unit dwelling, usually one who does not live in Hoboken, whose property had become a depository of paper, fliers, handbills and takeout menus. In no instance has a summons been issued to an individual property owner for a few stray pieces of litter. The goal of Operation: Clean Sweep, and it is being achieved, is to induce absentee owners of multi-unit properties to maintain the cleanliness of their properties, and by extension, our neighborhoods.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank those residents who have communicated with my office on this matter to express their concerns. I would like each of them to know that I have heard you, and I assure you that the zero-tolerance policy of Operation: Clean Sweep will be enforced with discretion so that all our neighborhoods are clean and safe. If anyone should have any additional concerns, please feel free to register them with my office at (201) 420-2000, or Hoboken City Hall, 94 Washington Street, attention: Operation: Clean Sweep.