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Sanitation Tackling Trash Backlog Following Repeated Snowstorms

Refuse lies along Broadway on February 18, 2014 in New York City. The city has reportedly received a total of about four feet of snow so far in 2014.  (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

Refuse lies along Broadway on February 18, 2014 in New York City. The city has reportedly received a total of about four feet of snow so far in 2014. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — New Yorkers have been complaining that trash is piling up amid the snow lately, but a Department of Sanitation official asked for patience as crews catch up.

As 1010 WINS’ Sonia Rincon reported, sanitation crews have been multitasking a bit lately, and 12-hour shifts have become the norm this winter. Crews on Tuesday night were set to take on the backlog of trash that has been seen in some neighborhoods.

It is hard for Brooklynites such as Brandon not to notice the pileup.

“Bags of trash that have been getting higher and higher – yes, yes I’ve noticed,” he said, adding that on his particular street, it is, “not pretty – things are tearing and blowing down the street.”

Department of Sanitation Deputy Commissioner Vito Turso said crews have been focusing on that backlog.

“We keep on getting snow and we keep on getting backlogged garbage and we’re trying to take care of it all. We hear the public saying ‘when is my garbage going to be picked up?’” he said.

He said residents should continue to put garbage and recycling out on the curb normal pickup days. He also said they should make sure the bags are not buried under snow and ice so that Sanitation workers can find them at night.

“We’ve had 58 inches of snow in the last six weeks, and some of that waste was buried by the first storm and may still be down there – but some of it, they just can’t see,” Turso said.

Such is the case especially at night, so those who want their trash collected have been advised to dig out their cans and bags.

Turso added that it has been an “extraordinary” winter, and the same crews who pick up waste have been keeping the city’s 6,300 miles of streets salted and plowed, working 12 hour shifts for weeks.

That has happened 15 times since January.

“If they spend two days clearing the streets of snow and ice, that’s a total of 24,000 tons of waste – that’s recycling and garbage – that goes uncollected,” he said.

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