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Clean Sweep: Norwalk Goes To Work On City's Streets

Mayor Harry Rilling, along with temporary Assistant Mayors Aidan and Dylan Dawson, announces a new street sweeping initiative to clean up the city. Photo Credit: Casey Donahue
A Norwalk street sweeper begins cleaning Washington Street. Photo Credit: Casey Donahue
Signs have been posted to warn people not to park on designated streets while sweeping is taking place. Photo Credit: Casey Donahue

NORWALK, Conn. – Norwalk is instituting a new street cleaning program to improve the cleanliness of the city.

Mayor Harry Rilling announced the program Thursday while accompanied by temporary Assistant Mayors Dylan and Aidan Dawson, two West Rocks Middle School sixth-grade students who won a prize to spend the day with the mayor.

Rilling said that clean streets and sidewalks were a major issue that came up during his 2013 mayoral campaign.

“When you come into a community, you judge a community by the same thing we used to call curb appeal. If the city sidewalks are not clean, if there’s liter around, it immediately sends a negative signal about your community. Well, we want to change that,” Rilling said. “We want to start working on some of the quality of life issues that will help make Norwalk attractive to all who live here, all who come to visit, and all the people who may want to invest in our community.”

Rilling said that when he was out on Washington Street last year, he saw a dirty diaper lying in the road. When he returned a few days later, he saw it was still there.

“That cannot be,” he said.

Beginning Monday, April 6, the Department of Public Works will be using a street sweeper to clean streets in South Norwalk and the Wall Street area.

Sweeping will take place every Monday between 3 a.m. and 8 a.m. Sweeping will take place in South Norwalk on Washington Street, North Main Street, South Main Street, Water Street, Ann Street and Marshall Street. In the Wall Street district, sweeping will be conducted on Wall Street, Main Avenue, Burnell Boulevard, Belden Avenue, River Street and Isaac Street.

Signs have been installed, and cars parked on sweeping routes during the marked times will be towed.

“We’re not only going to be doing our fair share, we’re going to be reaching out to the community, to the people who live here, to the business owners, and asking them to do their fair share also,” Rilling said. Businesses in those areas will be asked to sweep their sidewalks and do their best to keep the areas clean of litter.

Rilling said that the feedback from businesses so far has been positive, and that if it is successful it may be expanded to other parts of the city. He said that in addition to the SoNo Stars from STAR Inc., who pick up debris in South Norwalk, the city is also working with the Redevelopment Agency to contract Goodwill Industries to have people come in a couple days a week to pick up litter in the Wall Street area.

“Let’s hear it for going green and keeping our city clean,” said Dylan Dawson.

“This is all about keeping our city clean and hopefully it keeps going great,” said Aidan Dawson.

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