New York City Department of Sanitation

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Department of Sanitation
Department overview
Jurisdiction New York City
Headquarters 125 Worth Street
New York, NY
Employees 7,200 uniformed sanitation workers and supervisors
2,041 civilian employees
Department executive Kathryn Garcia, Commissioner of Sanitation
Key document New York City Charter

The New York City Department of Sanitation (DSNY) is the department of the government of New York City[1] responsible for garbage collection, recycling collection, street cleaning, and snow removal. It employs a uniformed force of unionized sanitation workers (Local 831 USA of the Teamsters) in New York City. Like the rest of New York's uniformed forces, they have a nickname: "New York's Strongest," a term coined by Harry Nespoli to describe the Department's football team in the late 1970s-early 1980s.[2] The section of Worth Street between Centre and Baxter Streets in Manhattan is named "Avenue of the Strongest" in their honor.

The New York City Department of Sanitation is the largest sanitation department in the world, with 7,201 uniformed sanitation workers and supervisors, 2,041 civilian workers, 2,230 collection trucks, 275 specialized collection trucks, 450 street sweepers, 365 salt and sand spreaders, 298 front end loaders, 2,360 support vehicles, and handles over 12,000 tons of residential and institutional refuse and recyclables a day.[3] Under Commissioner Kathryn Garcia, New York City's streets are reportedly the cleanest that they have been in over 30 years.[3]


DSNY was founded in 1881 as the Department of Street Cleaning. One of the Department's first Commissioners, Colonel George E. Waring, Jr., pioneered such current practices as recycling, street sweeping, and a dedicated uniformed cleaning and collection force.[4]

Law enforcement[edit]

The New York City Department of Sanitation has its own police force, which is composed of four specialized units:

  • The Uniformed Sanitation Police Force
  • The illegal dumping task force
  • The Permit and Inspection Unit
  • The Environmental Police Unit

The are composed of uniformed and undercover officers who handle sanitation related emergency calls, and enforce sanitation related laws in addition to state and city traffic and criminal laws in the 5 boroughs of New York City.

DSNY police officers are NYS peace officer certified by the NYS Municipal Training Council. Officers may carry a firearm , carry and use handcuffs, make warrantless arrests, issue summonses, and use physical and deadly force. The police force uses marked and unmarked police cars.[5]

See also[edit]



  1. ^ New York City Charter § 751; "There shall be a department of sanitation the head of which shall be the commissioner of sanitation."
  2. ^
  3. ^ a b About DSNY
  4. ^ Trying to Clean Up New York, Gotham Gazette, Aug. 16, 2004
  5. ^ DSNY Police Cars

External links[edit]