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Sanitation Workers Tackle Mountains Of Trash After Blizzard Cleanup

By Ben Fractenberg | January 3, 2011 11:46am | Updated on January 3, 2011 1:37pm

By Ben Fractenberg and Julie Shapiro

DNAinfo Staff

MANHATTAN — Now that the snow is mostly clear, the city's sanitation workers are back to picking up the trash — mountains of it.

Regular trash pickup, which was suspended during last week's blizzard cleanup, resumed Monday, the Department of Sanitation said. But it will take days before the backlog of trash is picked up.

"A big chunk of the sanitation department is back cleaning up the piles of garbage that just had to pile up during the week because we were plowing," Mayor Michael Bloomberg told reporters during a press conference in Brooklyn. "It will take a few days to catch up, but they're out there today. And hopefully in the next three to four days it will all be done."

The department said they will have 700 trucks on the streets today collecting 70,000 tons of backlogged refuse. Recycling had not yet resumed.

Sanitation Commissioner John Doherty said workers were trying to get to all trash pickups done at least once this week — residents who get multiple pickups shouldn't expect to get them until next week.

He expected it to take all week to pick up the backlog of trash, with workers pulling 10 hour shifts.

Slippery conditions on the streets could also slow Sanitation workers' efforts, Doherty said.

Recycling wasn't expected to be picked up until next week, he said.

Manhattan residents can go to the Sanitation website to find out when their trash will be picked up.

People can also put their discarded Christmas tress out for pickup, according the agency’s website.

More than 100 bags of garbage sat at Pearl and Beekman streets outside Southbridge Towers Monday morning.

Milton Garison, 83, an Upper West Side resident who works in the Municipal Building, said he often sees garbage piled there, but he has never seen as much as there was Monday morning.

"I hope they get it up in a hurry," Garison said.

Nassh Muosl, 42, said garbage has been sitting in front of his deli on West 56th Street for almost a week.

"Its bad, very slow," said Mousl about city's garbage pickup after the blizzard. "There's a lot of food, it's smelly."

Hells Kitchen residents also expressed concern about the trash piling up in front of their buildings.

"It's been out here a week," said Steve Stone, 37, who lives on West 56th Street. "Who knows when they'll pick it up. Keep your fingers crossed."