NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Around-the-clock cleanup is continuing in hard-hit areas of New York City a week after superstorm Sandy.

Garbage collections are being reduced in areas without a heavy storm impact so the Department of Sanitation can continue to focus on cleaning up storm debris on Staten Island, south Queens and southern Brooklyn, Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced Tuesday.

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Collections may be reduced from three days to two or from two days to one in areas not heavily impacted by Sandy.

“I’ve been visiting the parts of our city hit hardest by the storm – here in the Rockaways, and in Coney Island, and the South Shore of Staten Island and one thing I hear in all those places is the need for debris removal and the incredible work the Department of Sanitation is doing,” said Bloomberg.

Residents in hard-hit areas are being asked to separate appliances, perishable garbage and general debris.

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The department will not be collecting curbside recycling until further notice.

Bloomberg said sanitation enforcement agents also will not be writing violations for refuse left at curbside throughout the city during the emergency operation.

Sanitation crews working 12-hour shifts have collected more than 55,000 tons of refuse and debris since the storm hit.

Bloomberg visited sanitation workers in the Rockaways on Wednesday morning to thank them for their service.

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“We are going to get this cleanup from Hurricane Sandy done as fast as humanly possible,” Bloomberg said. “I don’t think anybody could do it better than the best sanitation department in the world. They have a mission that they’re proud to carry out and we should all be proud and grateful to have such men and women serving us.”