Slushy And Smelly, Questions Remain Over Blizzard Clean-Up

NEW YORK (CBS 2/WCBS 880) – It’s been five days since the blizzard dumped nearly 20 inches of snow in and around New York City and the effects are still being seen across the five boroughs.

In addition to the effects being seen, New Yorkers can also smell the effects. That’s because the Sanitation Department suspended garbage pick-up until next week.

PHOTO GALLERIES: Blizzard Slams East Coast | User-Submitted Pictures

Now, an investigation is under way as to why it took so long to clean up the mess. New Yorkers and city officials are also looking at accusations that the Sanitation Department deliberately orchestrated a slowdown of the cleaning to protest the budget cuts imposed by Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

Times Square has been swept clean of snow in time for the New Year’s Eve bash, but you can’t say the same for the rest of New York City, reports CBS 2’s Tony Aiello.

“I’ve never seen a storm response so ignored,” one resident said.

Four days after the storm ended, the city is still digging out from under the snow, with New York’s bravest manning shovels instead of hoses.

“Some of the hydrants are buried so deeply, we can’t even find them,” FDNY Lieutenant Joe Heegan said.

Residents are relieved that the city finally seems to have gotten a plow down every street. Residents told CBS 2 that as late as Thursday, some streets in the outer boroughs still hadn’t seen a snow plow.

One block in Bensonhurst is open only because resident Michael Rotondi used his own plow to clear the snow.

“That’s what everybody should be doing, helping each other,” Rotondi said.

On 231st Street in Laurelton, Queens, residents complained to their councilmember that the block hadn’t been cleared. After contacting the Department of Sanitation, the street was cleared, and was pretty much down to the pavement on Friday.

Many believe the snow piled up because the sanitation union slowed down.

“There’s still some union stuff going on – you figure it out,” one resident said.

Union leader Joe Mannion, though, is adamant that there was no slowdown.

“We would never do that. It’s totally illegal, totally against our grain,” Mannion, of the Sanitation Officers Association, said. “We have professionals within this department.”

“I don’t know whether it took place, but if it did, it’s a disgrace,” Mayor Bloomberg said.

Bloomberg said the alleged slowdown, and other possible causes of the storm snafu, will be investigated.

The first priority for the city, though, is to finish clearing snow and to start picking up garbage. It will still be several days before the city is back to normal.

The city is asking that residents not pile trash or recyclables at the curb. Limited pick-up is set to resume on Monday.

  • Carol

    It is amazing that not even 1 snow flake remains in Times Square after the blizzard. They apparently have been spending all week removing even trace of snow. And yet, as some news broadcasts showed tonight, there are still streets that have not been plowed. Here’s to a better 2011.

  • edy

    Fire all the thugs in the DSNY and the Unions…fire them all…they’re good for nothing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • John V.

    As a union ( but not flag waving ) worker I am disgusted over this DSNY fiasco. To think I gave the crew on my block a tip for xmas. The supervisors should be reprimanded and or demoted. The workes oughta be embarrassed . They all gave union labor a big black eye.

    • Jere

      Yes thanks for chiming in. agreed, this mess up does not mean every dsny or union worker is a lazy thug. There are exceptions in anything in this life. Happy New year people!

  • Angie

    On sunday, I saw 4 Sanitation Trucks parked. In the past, they salt the street before the snow hits then ground. I truly found it pecular that they were sitting even after the snow landed. Starrett City, Brooklyn.

  • Dennis

    Mr. Mayor, “Eureka, my garbage can is full.” From the Honeymooner episode where Ralph Kramden was the janitor of the building.

  • Liz

    Can’t wait for the next blizzard, I’m sure it will be the same SNOWJOB we got this time!!!!!!
    I’m right Mr. Mayor and you know it………..
    HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!!
    P.S. Happy New Year To All the Sanitation workers who let people die!!!!!

  • Staten Island Doll

    Okay, we always knew the Mayor was a self-serving (not in touch with reality) kinda guy, but the “SANITATION ENGINEERS” SHAME ON YOU! You cost people their lives. So much for the “blue collar worker” YOU ALL SHOULD BE FIRED!!
    There are many people looking for employment- HIRE THEM and get rid of the idiots who call themselves Sanitation Engineers!

  • Dennis

    Okay, great. After waiting 3 days for a plow and salt spreader, now we gotta wait till next week for garbage collection? How disgusting. Great for the rat population of NYC.
    Look, why don’t the City just contract out snow removal? If they do a lousy job like the Sanitation Dept. did, at least you can get rid of them, unlike the City workers, where you gotta be an axe murderr before you can get fired.

  • sumpa

    but garbage for no person? where place item for back to go? snow for time is not going. never could but to see for myself, i question? why mayor not garbage river taking barge away.

    • Jere

      Exactly! Couldn’t have said myself better!

  • martin

    Christine Quinn, are you listening????

  • edy

    unions are useless

  • Fire Them ALL

    Someone from the news needs to go to Broad St, at Water, and film the 4 lazy. moron, sanitation supervisors, sitting for hours in their 2 jeeps, doing nothing, Watching the fron loaders clean up snow. This is what are taxes are paying for??????? They should be out shoveling crosswalks.

  • Marlene from Staten Island

    The Mayor of NYC should be ashamed of himself! He does not realize that there are 4 other boros BESIDES MANHATTAN! And the Department of Sanitation WELL let’s call them MURDERERS! People died becuase of their selfishness and their stupidity! SHAME ON YOU. I have absolutely NO RESPECT for the Mayor or the Sanitation workers. YOU SHOULD ALL BE FIRED!!!!

    • Fire Them ALL

      I agree. The mayor AND the sanitation union heads should all be brought up on criminla charges. The workers should be fired, INCLUDING bus drivers and dispatchers. And every outter borough citizen should not have to pay city taxes this come April. We should get out money refunded to us.

  • Nick

    Does it Stink? No Work? Useless?

    Than it’s your typical Union Worker doing his typical work. Although they try to call it a “job slowdown”.

  • Jere

    I was driving home the other day, in a big 4 wheel drive SUV. Suddenly I see a chain of 3 plows entering my block right in front of me. Joyful I exclaim FINALLY! To my surprise all 3 of them slowly navigated the snow mountains with their plows raised barely touching the snow. Must have been mayor’s order, he hates Queens.

  • DeltaForce

    Followed one DSNY truck as it turned onto Northern Blvd. from CPB toward Main Street, plows UP and tire chains on the rear tires – make a quick swipe and plow a small mountain of snow already shoveled onto the curb lane back onto the traffic lane (maybe 20 feet long) but no salting/sanding – then swing back into its lane and make a right onto Main Street toward Roosevelt Ave, ignored all the other piles of snow on the right/parking lane that could use some plowing to clear – no parked or abandoned cars blocking his path. Plows up and keep moving – make a left on Kissena Blvd. onward.

    Our tax dollars at work – must be going somewhere else in the Sanitation District.

  • Frank Macc

    The Bloomberg Administration is starting to smell worse.

    • Jim anderson

      The people elected him King, and it shows.

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