The Daily Need

Photo: What lies beneath

Pedestrians walk past a pile of garbage and snow mixed together in Brooklyn, New York, on February 8, 2011. Photo: AP/Seth Wenig

The moguls covering the sidewalks of New York City for weeks have finally started to melt, but what has been hiding underneath all that white stuff is pretty nasty. The city’s Sanitation Department had to suspend garbage collection for days at a time to use the trucks for snow removal. This meant that approximately 11,000 tons of trash per day were being piled onto city sidewalks and not being collected.

Then add more snow, discarded furniture, rotting food, even more snow and doggie waste from irresponsible owners (yes, my neighbors included) and you end up with a soggy pile of rancid garbage several feet high in some places. The Sanitation Department is responsible for plowing streets and crosswalks, but the task of clearing sidewalks falls to residents and business owners. Lacking any alternative, they must shovel the snow onto, you guessed it, the garbage piles.

But all that snow had its perks, too. Alternate side parking rules had been suspended since January 20, which relieved New Yorkers of the ritual of moving parked cars every few days. Unfortunately, when the rules went back into effect Monday, nearly 10,000 people didn’t get the memo. The city issued more than 9,900 parking tickets, and at $55 each, that’s almost $500,000 in fines for just that one day.

 
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