December 15, 2020

NYC shuts down outdoor dining on streets ahead of major snowstorm

Outdoor dining on New York City streets will be suspended Wednesday afternoon ahead of an impending snowstorm, the city's Department of Sanitation announced. The "Snow Alert" issued by the DSNY says "roadway dining" must end by 2 p.m. and be shut down for the duration of the alert. The latest forecast from the National Weather Service predicts between 8 and 14 inches of snow in the city starting late afternoon on Wednesday.
Details here
May 29, 2018

Widespread oversight in thousands of NYC water tanks poses health risks, according to report

Photo via Ted McGrath on Flickr Thousands of wooden water tanks in New York City have not been properly inspected and cleaned for years, according to an investigation by City & State. And while the water towers have been an iconic part of the city skyline for over a century, the structures make it easy for pathogens and even dead animals to congregate and infiltrate the city's drinking water. According to the report, most building owners do not inspect and clean water tanks on a regular basis, despite newly updated health codes that require annual filings. City & State mapped more than 13,000 water tank inspection reports from the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH), letting the public know for the first time if and when a building's tank has been inspected and whether bacteria was found. Last year, just over 3,520 buildings with water tanks filed proof of inspection.
Has your building's water tank been inspected?
February 6, 2017

As New York City grows, so does its garbage

As a city of 8 million people became a city of 8.5 million, it only took a glance skyward at any given time to note the booming population in every borough, with tall towers and boutique buildings springing up like weeds in formerly less-bustling neighborhoods. It's just as noticeable closer to the ground as an exploding population's trash threatens to reach skyscraper proportions, too, taxing the city's sanitation infrastructure. From street cleaning to curbside sanitation pickup to volunteer "adopt-a-basket" efforts in tourist zones and parks, the job of keeping the city clean is getting out of hand, the New York Times reports. Yet the garbage keeps growing. The city's sanitation department spent $58.2 million last year to keep the streets clean, up from $49.5 million the previous year, as well as expanding and adding routes, putting more people on duty to empty sidewalk baskets and adding Sunday service; Staten Island got its first street sweeper last year.
More people means more trash
December 11, 2015

Manure Heaps, Fat Melting, and Offensive Privies: Mapping NYC’s 19th Century Nuisances

A New York City nuisance map today would consist of things like text-walking zombies, pizza rats, and Soul Cycle locations. But back in the 19th century, people had bigger problems, such as manure heaps, hog pens, and 400 families wading through "a disgusting deposit of filthy refuse" just to get home. Atlas Obscura uncovered these amazing maps that were created in 1865 by the Citizen’s Association of New York as part of a 300-page report on the city's sanitation and public health conditions in the wake of the smallpox and typhoid epidemics. "Rapid population growth, overcrowded apartment buildings, dirty streets and poor sanitation standards had meant that New York in 1860 had the mortality rate of medieval London," according to the blog.
See the maps and learn more