WESTCHESTER SQUARE - According to merchants, clean streets are good for business ? and shoppers appreciate the litter-free atmosphere as well.

Merchants on Westchester Square say clean streets have helped them make some extra money, and they have NYC Clean Street workers to thank. NYC Clean Streets was started in February, and workers have been on Westchester Square every Monday through Friday to sweep the sidewalks and clear litter out of the area ever since.

?Now I don?t have my employees running out every time the wind picks up worrying about the garbage,? John Bonizio of Metro Optics Eyewear says. ?They can concentrate more on the customers.?

During the school year, it is more difficult to keep the streets clean. Students from nearby Lehman High School have a tendency to leave a trail of garbage throughout Westchester Square ? but NYC Clean Street workers say they?ll be on top of it.

NYC Clean Streets got a boost with funds from Councilman Jimmy Vacca?s office. The Bronx Business Alliance rallied merchants to sponsor the program, and according to business owners and employees, it?s been a hit.

NYC Clean Streets was designed as a two-year program, but a representative from the Westchester Square Merchants? Association says the group plans to keep the service around. After the two years are up, the association plans to pay for the service since it?s been such a success at keeping the streets litter-free.

New initiative aimed at cleaning up Bronx, city streets