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Stories From Main Street: Bronx Man Reclaims His Block, Gets Honored By City

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Bronx Boulevard near Nereid Avenue - Bronx, NY (file / credit: Google Maps)

Bronx Boulevard near Nereid Avenue – Bronx, NY (file / credit: Google Maps)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) - Victor Borsella is one man, making a difference in the Bronx. He’s the Don Quixote of trash.

WCBS 880’s Sean Adams On The Story

“I gotta think about something to do for this little community of ours on Bronx Boulevard and that was where I started picking up the garbage,” he said.

But he didn’t just pick up his garbage. He picked up all of the trash on the block – from Nereid Avenue to 239th Street.

“Worse than a movie theater,” he told WCBS 880 reporter Sean Adams. “But we get everything – newspapers, parking tickets, lotto tickers, and, not to mention all types of garbage distributed during the night.”

This is a mixed residential / commercial neighborhood.

Sometimes, trucks pull up in the night and unload.

“Furniture that was broken up. Had little refrigerators. I’ve had a half bag of concrete. Personal belongings. Books. Clothing,” he said.

He says it happens all the time.

“I was bent over picking up something in the morning when the sun wasn’t up. It was still dark out, and a car came flying down the street, opened the window, and threw out their remnants the remnants of their breakfast right in front of me, almost hit me in the back,” he said.

Stories from Main Street - Photo: Evan Bindelglass / WCBS 880

Stories from Main Street - Photo: Evan Bindelglass / WCBS 880

RELATED: More Stories From Main Street

The first day, he picked up garbage for five hours. He filled the dumpster at his auto body shop and then some.

Why is he doing it after 24 years in the Woodlawn neighborhood? Is it civic pride? A sense of responsibility?

Neighbors are taking note.

“Now it’s looking cleaner,” said one man before Adams introduced Borsella.

“I wish there was more people out here like you,” the man then said.

Borsella plans to keep picking up the trash.

“Maybe it’ll catch on. Maybe one other block will catch on an we’ll see a cleaner Bronx one day,” Borsella said.

WCBS 880 called the city about this man. The Department of Sanitation has a special citation for Borsella, making him a partner in a cleaner New York.

“People are gonna have to pitch in sooner or later and, you know, maybe it’ll stimulate something, I don’t know what,” he said. “It sure makes people feel good to see it clean.”

If you know of someone else doing something great like this, please share the story on our Facebook page – facebook.com/wcbsnewsradio880

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