Tag Archives: New York City Sanitation Department

Worst Snowstorms In New York History – January 1925

January 2015, Not As Bad January 1925

Trolley stuck in snow during storm

Trolley stuck in snow during storm

It was bad for Suffolk County, NY and Boston, MA, but New York City’s 2015 “worst blizzard of all time” did not live up to its billing.

Official records for the city have been kept since 1869, and so far this January, New York City has received a relatively small amount of snow with 14.3 inches accumulating.

January 1925 arrived and departed like a polar bear and New York City was the unwelcome recipient of 27.4 inches of snow, the most ever recorded for any January up to that time. (This record was finally eclipsed in January 2011 when the city recorded 36 inches of snow.)

But it was not only New York City that got hit multiple times in January 1925 with lots of snowstorms, but upstate New York got slammed as well.

The tally for the city read like this: A relentless snowstorm that lasted two days occurred from January 2-3. On January 12 the city required 12,000 shovelmen to tackle another snowstorm that clogged the streets. January 20 New York City got hit with two blizzards in one day. January 27 more snow fell and then the coup de grace; the giant storm on January 30 that affected the metropolitan area.

Ninety years ago today on January 30, New York City was hit hard, but so was the entire region. How bad was it? Cattle in the streets? Ferry service ground to a halt? Here are a few excerpts of what Continue reading

Old New York In Photos #31

The Garbage Strike of 1911

boys chase garbage carts Nov 13 1911

This photograph shows First Avenue and 50th street looking north. A policeman is running after boys who were harassing and chasing a garbage truck (to the left of the trolley) driven by a strike-breaker (now what would be termed a scab) in November 1911.

On November 8, 1911 New York City’s garbage collector’s went on strike demanding better working conditions. The ashcart men did not like working at night when seeing dangerous items deposited in the trash and obstacles on the street was difficult, so they wanted to work only during the daylight hours when it was warmer and safer. Another complaint the union lodged was having only one man to lift trash cans that sometimes weighed over 200 pounds.

City officials were irate and refused to give in. Earlier in July during a smaller garbage strike, Mayor William Jay Gaynor warned that every worker who did not report to work would be fired. Continue reading

Question: Why Do Some Garbagemen (Sorry, Sanitation Workers) Block New York City Streets and Not Give A Damn about Public Safety?

City Bus Must Pass Into Oncoming Traffic

Answer: There is No Good Reason

Some of New York’s Strongest, as the sanitation department has dubbed their workers, leave me scratching my head sometimes.

That is why I am going to call out this group of “New York’s Laziest” as there is a subset of sanitation workers who demonstrate their slothful ways with a complete disregard for traffic laws and public safety on a daily basis. I’m not talking about just backing up traffic on narrow streets by not fully pulling over and instead parking their trucks diagonally when they load garbage. I’m talking about something that is egregious.

Now when you can do something the easy way or the hard way, almost always you should choose the easy way, right?

Wrong.

On a busy crosstown block in Manhattan where there is two-way traffic; a school crossing zone; ( the school is one block away!)  a major bus route and lots of vehicles trying to navigate the streets in rush hour, these workers have consistently demonstrated their disdain Continue reading