To combat the spread of the novel coronavirus, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo reduced the state’s workforce to only those who are “essential.”
Alongside healthcare workers and reporters, New York’s sanitation workers were deemed essential by the state.
We shadowed two sanitation workers in NYC — one of the filthiest cities in the US — early one morning to see what the job was like.
These sanitation workers wake up at 3:30 a.m. and pick up trash from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m.
After five years on the job, the average salary for a sanitation worker is about $77,300, and after 22 years, sanitation workers are eligible for pension, according to the New York City Department of Sanitation.
Sanitation workers must be very cautious when handling trash and the collection truck on New York City streets, but they also enjoy the simple pleasures of the job, like watching the city wake up each morning.
Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
SEE ALSO: 25 recession-proof jobs for anyone worried about the next economic downturn
We arrived at the New York City Department of Sanitation (DSNY) at 5:30 a.m. on a Thursday.
This is where sanitation workers meet each morning before their routes.
Workers in different garages take roll call, where they get assigned the route for the day. Supervisors also make announcements.
DSNY divides up the entire city into 59 districts, which separates the five boroughs into zones for cleaning and garbage and recycling collection.
DSNY runs 7,400 truck routes a week across the city.
Sanitation workers must get to their garage sites by a little before 6 a.m. Many of them wake up at 3 or 4 a.m. to get dressed and make it to their garage on time.
You must be 21-years-old when appointed to be a sanitation worker, but there’s no age cap so long as you can pass the physical exam.
Sanitation workers — both collectors and supervisors — wear different shades of dark green uniforms with a reflective vest on top.
Most sanitation workers wear sturdy shoes without steel toes, which can sever your foot if run over by a car.
There are about 7,800 uniformed staff members within the sanitation department. It is the third-largest city agency after the fire and police departments.
While we didn’t see any women at the garage, there are currently 268 female uniformed staff members.
This includes Sanitation Workers, and ranking officers like Supervisors, Deputy Chiefs and above.
The two sanitation workers we followed for the day were 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 …read more
Source:: Business Insider