DSNY picks up the trash of residents, schools, and non-profits. Restaurants and businesses must pay for private trash collection.
Business Insider shadowed two sanitation workers on their route — Kevin Greenan and Mike Squiciari. Greenan had been on the job for about 20 years, and Squiciari for about 33 years.
The two don’t normally work together, but Squiciari’s usual partner was out for the day. Since they have seniority, the two get more flexibility to pick the routes and schedules they want.
We began in the Spring Street Garage on the west side of Lower Manhattan, and our route included parts of Soho and Greenwich Village.
We drove behind the garbage truck alongside DSNY chief Keith Mellis for safety reasons. Chief Mellis oversees all five boroughs and began with the department as a sanitation worker in Harlem 33 years ago.
Hoppers can be dangerous as they break down garbage quickly, and trash can quickly get sprayed outward.
Sanitation workers must stand to the side of the hopper as they load trash into the vehicle.
One sanitation worker in Brooklyn died after dumping trash that contained acid. The acid sprayed outward after it got sucked into the hopper and got on the sanitation worker’s skin.
Source: The New York Times
Sanitation workers must pass a civil service exam — which includes both a written and physical portion — before getting hired.