New Year’s Eve in Times Square, New York City is always one heck of a party — but it’s also a cleanup effort of enormous proportions.
Almost 1 million revelers, braving freezing temperatures, packed into Times Square on Sunday to ring in 2018. At midnight, the crowd squealed with delight as the glittery crystal ball dropped and confetti — about 3,000 pounds of it — rained down. Partygoers later gushed about the “beautiful” experience as they made their way out of midtown Manhattan.
But the clearing crowds revealed something not so beautiful: the night’s staggering detritus, including streamers and party hats, cigarette butts, food containers and other trash littering the ground.
The city’s Department of Sanitation told AM New York last week that they expected to clear more than 50 tons of trash at Times Square post-New Year’s Eve ― about the same amount generated at last year’s bash.
The department said a total of 294 sanitation workers would be on duty to clean up in the aftermath of the party, armed with 30 mechanical brooms, 58 backpack blowers, 44 collection trucks and 58 old-fashioned hand brooms.
According to Paul Visconti, chief of the sanitation department, the clean-up effort would likely take about 12 to 16 hours to complete.
“It’s something short of a miracle what we get accomplished,” he told AM New York last week.
“It’s rewarding to see 50 tons of debris disappear,” Visconti added. “It’s not easy but we make it look easy.”
Social media users took to Twitter late Sunday and early Monday to express their gratitude and awe for the sanitation workers tasked with cleaning up the huge mess at Times Square.
One user called the workers “the real MVPs” of the night.