NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Thursday’s windy weather wasn’t a good combination with the bounty of Christmas trees piling up on New York City streets.
On some blocks, there seems to be a growing backlog for cleanup. Trees were seen stopping traffic in Astoria, Queens, with winds taking them away from the curb and into the street. In Canarsie, Brooklyn, you could find evergreens lodged under bumpers far away from where they were chucked out.
The breeze carried Terrence Bernard’s tree halfway down his block.
“People are swerving out of the way so that can’t be good,” the Canarsie resident said.
CBS2’s Ali Bauman found piles all over Manhattan. Some were under plastic wrapping, others were sprinkled with garbage.
“This is the very worst I’ve seen it since they started it like 15, 20 years ago,” West Side resident Thomas Amore said.
The Department of Sanitation collects trees curbside from January 2nd through January 12th.
“We don’t collect them on specific days, so don’t worry,” Commissioner Katherine Garcia said earlier this month. “Leave it out there and we will take care of it.”
Since collection is expected to end Saturday, some are getting antsy their trees won’t be picked up by then.
“Oh no, I’m pretty sure it won’t happen,” West Village resident Lou Lahana said.
Sanitation workers spotted grabbing trees in Greenwich Village directed CBS2 to their supervisor. A spokesperson with the department told CBS2 “we look to try to maximize the number of trees collected… by a single truck, and make routes accordingly.”
As for Saturday’s deadline, they said they “hope to extend collection this year.”
“If trees are on the curb after our special collection ends, we will collect the tree during normal trash collection,” the spokesperson continued.
During last year’s cleanup, more than 200,000 trees were collected and mulched according to the sanitation department. So far this year, they say they’ve collected about half of that.