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Garbage Pickups Tell A Tale of Two Cities


As of Friday morning, 414 employees had tested positive for COVID-19, though a number have already returned to work, Mager said.

A Staten Island sanitation worker, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told THE CITY that shouldering the extra load has been “physically and mentally daunting.”

He’s lost sleep and fears falling ill.

“It’s kind of scary that I could sit there and do my job, but in the back of my mind, I have to worry about my health,” said the two-decade veteran of New York’s Strongest, who added he picked up respiratory illnesses from working in the wake of 9/11 and Hurricane Sandy.

“No matter how much work that we do — whether it’s in snow, 9/11, Sandy, the coronavirus — we are quickly forgotten as people who just don’t matter,” he added. “We may not be considered first responders or ‘essential,’ but I know we see ourselves as the front line to the city.”