Despite the bitter bite of winter, close to a million people brave the cold each year to watch the famous New Year’s Eve Ball Drop in Times Square at midnight. The annual celebration marking the turn of the year is one of the most anticipated events in New York City — but it’s no easy feat to clean up on New Year’s Eve after the crowds have gone home. After the ball finishes its descent and the streets start to clear out, hundreds of Department of Sanitation workers swoop in to clean up the staggering amount of refuse left over from the festivities.
The NYC Department of Sanitation told Untapped New York that for the 2021 to 2022 festivities last year, 132,000 pounds of trash and confetti were picked up from the area, which measures only one square mile. That is more than 60 tons of confetti, big party hats, noisemakers, numeral sunglasses, and other festive celebratory accouterments. To get all of the trash out this year, DSNYC plans to deploy 312 uniformed employees to tackle the cleanup left behind from celebrating the arrival of 2023.
Employees will be equipped with, 60 Hand brooms, 57 Backpack blowers, 30 Collection trucks, 33 Mechanical brooms, 6 Rack trucks, and 5 Haulsters. There will be 18 trucks standing by where revelers can discard items. The clean-up on New Year’s Eve generally takes anywhere from 12 to 16 hours to complete — certainly an impressive feat to say the least, and a team effort. So while you’re out ringing in the New Year, keep in mind that someone needs to clean up after you!
Next, check out the Secrets of the New Year’s Eve Ball Drop in Times Square and the Evolution of the New Year’s Eve Ball
This article was written by Susan Xu and updated by Nicole Saraniero for 2022