City sanitation workers are getting a bad rap over the snow/trash debacle of the great blizzard of Christmas 2010. But should we really give such a hard time to the people dealing with our mountains of cold, wet trash?
I talked this morning to the wife of a 20-year sanitation department vet, who said her husband has been working around the clock since the snow started. In her opinion, if the mayor had declared a state of emergency during the storm, and people hadn’t been out driving around, getting stuck in the snow, we wouldn’t be in this mess. But, he didn’t, and folks did, and there you have it. So sanitation workers spent three days digging cards out of mounds, before they could deal with the streets, and now the trash.
I for one wonder if we’re going to see a rash of “flooded” cars, ruined from water damage, as so many owners just left their vehicles covered in wet white.
I moved to Brooklyn from Detroit, where nothing worked well. When I got to New York City, I thought I’d come to nirvana–city services seemed to work like a tightly-oiled machine. Compared to Detroit, where a blizzard literally shut down the city a few times, despite its frequent snow dumps, due to a lack of plows, salt and workers, and where the city started charging $300 a year for trash pickup, New York City buzzes with workers and efficiency. So, the blizzard drama comes as a shock.
But, heck, it’s a storm, it was the holidays, and the city is filled up with humans. We make a mess, we clean it up, everything will be fine by next week.