The year the first garbage law is enacted in Dutch-controlled Fort Amsterdam. It bans soldiers and other residents from discarding filth and ashes within the fort.
The Department of Street Cleaning is established.
George Waring Jr., a.k.a. the “APOSTLE OF CLEANLINESS,” is named head of the Department of Street Cleaning. He prohibits his workers from entering a saloon during work hours, raises the monthly salary to $60, and establishes an all-white dress code.
The year a large dog named BATTLE-AXE BILL is placed on Rikers Island, then a landfill, to keep the millions-strong rat population at bay. He is summarily devoured.
The year that the garbage-disposal ban—instated in the seventies—was lifted in New York.
The number of litter baskets on city streets.
The number of trash-eating hogs exiled to city outskirts in 1849.
The number of dead horses removed from New York’s alleys and gutters in 1880.
Percentage of the city built atop landfills.
The distance offshore from which sailors say they can smell NYC in the 1840’s.
The amount of garbage, in tons, generated annually by New York City: 3,269,659
• Manhattan: 606,176
• The Bronx: 604,640
• Brooklyn: 983,160
• Queens: 856,103
• Staten Island: 219,580
Most Common items found in city garbage, according to anthropologist of discard studies Robin Nagle:
Textiles (holey socks, etc.)
Percentage of trash New Yorkers throw away that is estimated to be recyclable.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, sanitation workers have the nation’s FOURTH most dangerous job, ranking behind only fishermen, loggers, and pilots.
The number of earrings per ear city sanitation workers are allowed to wear.
2.9 pounds of garbage:
What an average New Yorker generates daily.
4.4 pounds of garbage:
What an average American generates daily.
Damages awarded to six South Carolinans over the “rotten-egg odor” coming from the Lee County Landfill, which receives New York’s trash.
Number of DSNY workers’ hands artist Mierle Laderman Ukeles shook as part of her seventies piece “Touch Sanitation:” 8,500