A new audit by the city comptroller’s office has found disorganization and mismanagement within the Department of Sanitation’s program for cleaning up vacant lots, which remain significant eyesores in low-income neighborhoods. The lots are dumping grounds for discarded food, trash, construction debris, lumber, appliances and even vehicles.
Audit Faults Cleaning of Vacant Lots
The Sanitation Department’s Lot Cleaning Division cuts weeds and removes debris and bulky items from vacant lots in the private boroughs. In the fiscal year that ended in June 2007, the department reported that it cleaned 6,191 vacant lots: 4,941 that were owned by the city and 1,250 that were privately owned.
Some cases had lingered in the tracking system for years, and the Sanitation Department did not have written standards for resolving the complaints in a timely way, the audit found.