This year, the City of Detroit will clear brush and debris from at least 2,000 alleys across the city, an expansion of the alley cleanup program announced last year by Mayor Mike Duggan. The program expansion was announced at Mayor Duggan’s news briefing January 25.
The program was received overwhelmingly by residents, as nearly 500 block clubs signed up for the program through the Department of Neighborhoods. In 2020, 505 alleys were cleared, as City crews removed more than 4,000 tons of trash and debris.
The alley cleanup program provides residents with City assistance to address overgrown alleys in exchange for a commitment from residents to maintain and clean the alleys at least twice a year. The work performed at each location includes complete removal of everything in the alley including debris removal and tree and brush trimming. Some light grading work is also done to ensure alleys are leveled and passable.
As part of the program, the City will install gates at the ends of eligible alleys to prevent further illegal dumping. These sturdy wooden gates will be accessible to residents, emergency vehicles and utility workers.
Of the 39 City employees who make up the alley cleanup program, 13 are returning citizens. Plans call for the City to employ up to 65 individuals for the program. The City expects to clean roughly 2000 alleys per year over four years with an annual budget of $8 million.
For the next round, the City will select the alleys identified by block clubs or neighborhood associations registered with the Department of Neighborhoods, and that have completed the alley cleanup request form at detroitmi.gov/neighborhoods. To take part in the program, individuals in areas without a block club will need to organize a block club and get registered with the City.
After completing the alley cleanup registration, a community liaison meets with block club leaders to tour and survey the alley. Once an alley has been selected and cleaned, the block club must commit to maintaining the alley by performing additional cleanups, at least twice per year.
There will also be a sign-up page available for block clubs who are interested in the gates to receive a feasibility consultation. Once eligibility is verified and the City receives sign-off from block clubs, gates are installed.
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