Demanding Answers: New Yorkers Growing Frustrated With Slow Trash Cleanup In Wake Of Snowstorm

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Almost a week after Tuesday’s snowstorm and the streets of New York City are still filled with heaps of trash. But when will the garbage disappear?

In some ways, it may be Mayor Bill de Blasio’s own “Curse of the Bambino.” While he was in Florida rooting for his beloved Red Sox at spring training, garbage was continuing to pile up in, on, and around the streets of the city.

It seemed especially bad in the Bronx, with one particular pile of rubbish growing on 162nd Street right near Yankee Stadium.

There was so much garbage that many of the bags have broken open, spilling their refuse onto the streets — blocking fire hydrants and making it difficult for pedestrians to pass by.

“If he could see all this garbage maybe he wouldn’t be rooting for them,” Ella Trotman of the Bronx tells CBS2 Political Reporter Marcia Kramer. “He’d be rooting for the citizens who have all this garbage.”

She added that if she could talk to de Blasio she’d tell him to pick it all him himself.

But the growing mounds of waste weren’t just limited to just the Bronx. CBS2 found trash piles just about everywhere in the city — in both Fresh Meadows and Flushing, Queens, at 89th Street and Amsterdam Avenue in Manhattan, and ironically outside the High School for Environmental Studies on West 56th Street.

“I think de Blasio should be down here checking it out because you got the kids here going to school,” one man said. “He should be down here.”

Sanitation Department spokesman Vito Turso explained to CBS2 that because of the storm and the need for snow removal, the department missed three full days of trash pickups — creating a backlog of 30,000 tons of garbage and 9,000 tons of recyclables.

“Trying to catch up with that backlog while at the same time clearing 314,000 crosswalks, 14,000 bus stops, and also handling the new day’s garbage is a daunting — and at times consuming — challenge,” Turso added.

Officials say they expect to catch up by midweek, adding that the Sanitation Department had 597 trucks out on the 7 a.m. shift collecting trash and recycling.

Tonight, the 7 p.m. shift will have 875 trucks, about 200 more than they do on an average Monday.

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