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City piles on crews to tackle garbage pileups

Sanitation crews are finally putting a dent in the mounds of trash that have piled up around New York City since last week's blizzard suspended pickups, but it will take until the end of the week before the last of the piles are removed, department officials said Monday.

"Things are actually going better than anticipated," said sanitation department spokesman Keith Mellis.

Some 1,100 trucks were deployed Monday, about 150 more than on a normal day, despite initial plans to have fewer collection vehicles, Mellis said. However, the agency could not say what percentage of normal Monday pickups were made.

Sanitation officials said whatever they couldn't get to Monday, they would work on Tuesday in addition to making stops for regular Tuesday removals.

"As they reduce the snow operations, they are putting people right out on collection," Mellis said.

Recycling pickup remains suspended until further notice.

A blizzard that dumped 20 inches of snow on the city Dec. 26 halted garbage removal as the sanitation department focused on plowing streets.

New Yorkers and officials have criticized the agency for not clearing streets quickly, which led to trash collection delays.

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