YONKERS, N.Y. -- Yonkers officials are tired of seeing litter on city streets that detracts from luring new residents and businesses to the area and are taking action with the launch of a new anti-litter initiative.
On Wednesday, City Council President Liam McLaughlin, Mayor Mike Spano and others officially unveiled the new 'Respect Yonkers' advertising campaign that includes shrink-wrapped garbage receptacles and bus shelters using catchy marketing phrases and buzz-words that discourage littering.
"We are encouraging our residents, businesses, and particularly our young people to help keep our city clean," McLaughlin said. "Litter is a problem that we have to battle on a daily basis. However, with the public's help we can win this battle."
The campaign is geared toward grabbing the attention of residents by asking them to show their city a little love by taking care of it.
The campaign's website, www.respectyonkers.com , says that 85 percent of littering is the result of individuals perceptions about their cities.
And, when they are talking about littering, officials said that includes everything from cigarette butts on the sidewalks to old furniture being tossed on the roadways.
The site also offers residents a chance to become involved in the project by starting their own clean-up projects or to volunteer with current efforts.
To make sure the effort has some bite behind it, the City Council also passed a new law which raised the fine for littering to $250 for a first offense, to as high as $5,000 for repeat offenders.
"With so many beautiful neighborhoods and vibrant business districts throughout Yonkers, we need to respect how they look as we attract more residents and visitors to our city," said Spano. "This campaign speaks to our younger generation specifically who need to be reminded to give respect and take pride in their community. By making good choices, we all can make Yonkers a cleaner place to live, work and play."