My Autobiography by Michael Normandy, Sr.

Before I go any further, I must mention the garbage pails in front of every house or building on every block, in every neighborhood, of every borough in the City of New York. We didnít call them streets, avenues, or boulevards. They were blocks! If the D.S. (Department of Sanitation) did not pick up the garbage every day, New York would drown in garbage in a week!

The garbage men (now known as sanitation workers) would follow alongside of an open garbage truck. Unceremoniously, and very noisily, they would remove the garbage can cover, throw it to the ground, and then hoist the garbage can to the side of the truck where another garbage man would empty the contents of the can into the truck. With any luck and skill, most of the garbage would make it into the truck to be hauled away to a garbage dump.

There were no fancy names for working people or work places. The man was a garbage man because he handled - garbage. Not trash or recyclables. GARBAGE! We did not have Resource Recovery Plants. What we did have was city or town garbage DUMPS!

If I continue digressing, I will never get into the building at 181 Maujer Street. Outside every building, including 181, was a small wrought iron gate. Today we call it a fence. The garbage cans (and they were cans). Cans made of galvanized sheet metal (not plastic trash containers with wheels) were kept inside these gates. Iíll get back to the sidewalk later.

New  York City Department

of Street Cleaning in the 1930s

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