Sanitation Commissioner Doherty's Big Cleanup

Thursday, February 20, 2014

The Department of Sanitation has 235 tons of salt to spread on the streets of the city when its snows during the winter. The Department of Sanitation has 235 tons of salt to spread on the streets of the city when its snows during the winter. (Stephen Nessen/WNYC)

On the Brian Lehrer Show, NYC Department of Sanitation Commissioner John Doherty discussed this winter's abundant snow and ice, and his department's work to keep the streets clear and the garbage from piling up. Doherty acknowledged that the priority has shifted from snow removal to trash pickup, and cited Brooklyn and Eastern Queens as particular areas of focus, with crews being shifted from other parts of the city to get waste removal back on schedule by the end of the week. As for Alternate Side Parking, Doherty said that the decision to suspend ASP for much of the week meant that workers who would normally be issuing tickets could be used for cleanup. That said, he had a clear message to those who are parked in Monday and Tuesday spots: "They better start thinking about how they are going to dig out their cars."




John Doherty

Comments [11]

lesterine from manhattan

glad to see a more interesting photo on the homepage for this story than the usual straight-on shot. while the rest of the photos in the story are much less interesting, at least the homepage shot is grabbing attention with interesting focus techniques and pops of color. please continue to push your photography staff to make more visually interesting compositions. i get so tired of looking at point-and-shoot click shots that anyone could take and that shouldn't set the bar so low on an important visual element. need more cutting-edge photographers? call SVA ~ no doubt there are tons of new-b photographers dying to be published on your site for free!

Feb. 20 2014 12:44 PM
Amy from Manhattan

Commr. Doherty mentioned the use of salt a few times. But salt corrodes street & sidewalk surfaces, is eco-unfriendly, & is caustic to dogs' paws (the most common complaint I've heard this winter). I've heard about the salt shortage, but I haven't heard anything about efforts to find a better substitute. Last Saturday, I passed some people who were unloading a product called SafeStep from a truck. The package said it's better on all 3 counts. Is anyone looking into this or other substitutes? (BTW, I hate having computer problems when I'm trying to comment before a segment ends!)

On "dog-doo" on top of the snow, too many dog owners seem to think it'll melt when the snow does & that the pooperscooper law is suspended along w/alternate-side parking. Maybe there should be a major public service announcement campaign about this.

Feb. 20 2014 10:41 AM

Personally, I would prefer less snow cleaning, and save the city money, while cutting back would also limit the damage to our streets from over-salting, where we now have to pay again to patch and resurface.

It's snow, not lava. We can walk in it, and with the right equipment drive in it. What's the problem?

We used to survive much more than this, but today, if everything's not clean in hours, the complaints roll in. Thanks, John. You did too good of a job.

Feb. 20 2014 10:20 AM
Tom Asher

Thank you Brian for offering the Commish an opportunity to present himself and the hardest working department in the city for doing a great job under once-in-twenty-years conditions. Thanks, Commissioner and DSNYC workers all for your extraordinary efforts, all year long.

Feb. 20 2014 10:18 AM
Robert from NYC

Why don't the sanitation trucks no longer have brooms for the men who sometimes break the bags to sweep up and clean up after themselves. Often they just leave it there and the building is then summoned for having garbage on the sidewalk. After all these are sanitation workers and shouldn't they pick up after themselves as well. They used to do it.

Feb. 20 2014 10:16 AM
NSNY from Bklyn

I realize that DSNY is working hard and has lots to do. I'm wondering why the recent snow storms were handled differently than in the past - why has alternate side continuously been suspended instead of keeping it in place allowing plows to pass through? I personally got a flat tire from my car sitting on ice, and then recently had to wait three days for the ice to start to melt in order to be able to move my car from a parking spot that had "already been shoveled out". The tow truck drivers for my flat told me that it's been nonstop flat tire calls for them and my insurance company called me to ask why I called a tow truck and they told me that they had a long list of NYC people to call who had called for tow trucks - and everyone so far had flats from ice. It's been an expensive unnecessary endeavor. I hope the next storms are handled better.

Feb. 20 2014 10:16 AM
Bill from Brooklyn nyc


DOT "repaired" the storm drains on my block (flatbush ave/lincoln rd) a few years ago and did a TERRIBLE JOB of itl they left indentations in front of all the crosswalks (the pavement itself forms a basin) and anytime it rains or snows these become gigantic puddles and make the crosswalks all unusable. How can we get them to come and re-epair their shoddy terrible work> ?? I asked a DOT manager at the time and he laughed in my face and told me to " go F-- Yourself!" and literally pushed me into a car and then all the workers looked up like a bunch of thugs. I was polite and did not confront him in any way. I belive his name was "Mark" how do we get recourse? Seems like DOT is a big mafia to me.

Feb. 20 2014 10:15 AM
RJ from prospect hts

I hope people remember those coimments about the Sandy workers and are watching the constant 12-hour snow days when the discussion of union contracts come up.

Feb. 20 2014 10:15 AM
Arlene from Forest Hills

It seems that smaller vehicles would be more nimble for snow removal near curbs. These type of vehicles are used quite effectively in Forest Hills Gardens. Why does the Sanitation Department not have such vehicles?

Feb. 20 2014 10:13 AM
bb from brooklyn

in my experience in downtown manhattan and brooklyn, the private owners have done a great job clearing, it's the city parks that have completely failed. i pass by at least 4 parks to get to work and home and not one had the sidewalk cleared, the most hazardous parts of my pedestrian commute were the solid ice walks in front of all small parks.

Feb. 20 2014 10:13 AM
Ann from Green Gables

Thank you for thanking him. I thought it was disgraceful that DiBlasio did not publicly thank Mr. Doherty after begging him to stay on the job.

Feb. 20 2014 10:07 AM

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