Volunteers to work with Sanitation Department to help Labor Day weekend cleanup

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Saturday, September 3, 2022

NEW YORK (WABC) -- A three-day weekend is great unless you end up with more work later in the four-day week.

"We saw after July 4 weekend that the city was unacceptably dirty," said DSNY Commissioner Jessica Tisch.

"For years, whenever there was a Monday holiday, whoever had Monday service, they were kind of punished with having to see bags for two, three days after a holiday," said DSNY Assistant Chief Jeff Pitts.

That is why the Sanitation Department is doing regular Monday service this Labor Day.

"It's great, that's good," said Building Super Marcial Santiago.

For building supers like Santiago and private homeowners like Queens resident Charles Adegide , who are responsible for putting out the trash, it sounds like a good deal.

"New Yorkers, we like to party, we like to have a good time on the weekends, so we needs some extra, you know, we're big on tax dollars, we pay our tax dollars, so it's important that the sanitation comes in and cleans up," said Adegide.

It will cost the department in overtime, but the commissioner says it cancels out the overtime of the following days getting through the pileup.

Sixteen hundred employees stepped up to work the holiday.

"I'm happy to be one of them," added Pitts.

It is less than usual for a Monday.

"We know some New Yorkers may have muscle memory and be used to not putting the trash out, so we think we have the right number to get the material that's going to be out there off of the streets - certainly by early Tuesday morning," said Tisch.

It is not just trash that would be put out on the sidewalk - public litter baskets will be emptied on Labor Day, too. The Sanitation Department says complaints to 311 about these overflowing have gone down more than 60 percent since more funding kicked in this summer to address that problem.

The Monday pick-up will not include organics or recycling, and the extra work will not affect the sanitation's scheduled clean-up after the crowds at the West Indian Day Parade, which is back in person on Labor Day.

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