Newark, NJ - The crews that typically keep Newark’s business improvement districts free of graffiti and litter have stepped up their efforts during the current public health crisis and shifted their focus to disinfecting public amenities like trash cans, parking meters, benches, and traffic signals.

During the past two weeks, Clean Team Ambassadors have been out in force every day in the North Ward’s two business districts to keep high-touch spots sanitized for residents who are out shopping for essential items at local stores.

“We’ve outfitted our Clean Team Ambassadors with protective masks, gloves, and disinfectant spray and have committed a big piece of our work day to sanitizing the public amenities that people touch the most,” said Chris Bernardo, administrator for the Mt. Prospect Partnership and the Bloomfield Avenue/Lower Broadway Alliance, the District Management Corporations for the North Ward’s two Business Improvement Districts.

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Although residents across the state have been ordered to stay home to help reduce the spread COVID-19, residents are allowed to shop for essential items in grocery stores and pharmacies, use laundromats and order take out from restaurants.

“The BIDs provide essential services—they supplement critical municipal services, like sanitation and public safety, and play an important role during these critical times,” said North Ward Councilman Anibal Ramos, Jr., who helped create the Mt. Prospect Avenue Neighborhood Improvement District in 2009 and the Bloomfield Avenue/Lower Broadway Business Improvement District in 2017.

In addition to disinfecting public amenities, Clean Team Ambassadors continue to make litter and trash removal from the streets and sidewalks a high priority in the North Ward. 

P.J. Calello, owner of The Calello Agency, who serves as President of the Bloomfield Avenue/Lower Broadway BID, said every bsuiness district has gaps where business owners say “that’s not my garbage.”  

“Our BID does a great job of filling those gaps and keeping our streets clean to the benefit of all,” Calello said.

Annually, both BIDs combined pull approximately 60,000 bags of trash off the street each year. Last year they introduced the use of a compactor truck to make trash bag collection and transport more efficient. 

Julia Ferreira, a property manager with Hillcrest Management, and board member for the Mt. Prospect Partnership, said the compactor truck was a great addition last year.

“It’s important to get trash bags off the street quickly, especially during a crisis like this,” Ferreira said.

For more information about the North Ward BIDs, visit @MtProspectPartnership and @balbbid on Facebook.