Garbage piles up as snow delays collection

December 31, 2010 3:51:05 AM PST
With sanitation trucks either plowing or getting stuck, garbage collections in the biggest city in the country have ground to a halt.

But life hasn't, and the garbage is piling up faster than the snow did.

But snow doesn't smell.

With no garbage collection since last week, a Christmas tree in a snow bank looks a lot better than the snow covered black bags that have burst and are piling up.

"It's not easy, it's tough. But we gotta go with it. No other choice right now," superintendent Frank Armeni said.

The Department of Sanitation asked New Yorkers on Monday not to put out garbage, since their crews would be focused on snow removal and also because the bags get buried in the snow.

"We won't get into collection until sometime next week," said Sanitation Commissioner John Doherty.

But the curb is the only option for Armeni, a super at five Upper West Side buildings.

"The automated service says that if you haven't put it out please not to. But if it's out, you can leave it out," he said. "We have no choice, we have no place to store the garbage."

A limited number of trucks are working on an operation called crosswalks and corner caps to empty the trash baskets and clear the sidewalks.

Some supers are placing bags in basements until they can be collected next week.