Once again, I find myself intrigued by the antics of the New York Department of Sanitation (or DSNY for short). You may be thinking, come on Jake, again with the Department of Sanitation? But what if I told you that besides reporting on filthy streets and keeping the city disgusting, the DSNY also has its filthy fingers in another pie: mascots.
It all started when I saw a video of Mayor Adams announcing a new city-wide composting plan. The plan itself - which is the largest and most comprehensive the city has ever seen - is quite ambitious. It aims to provide compost pickup services to every citizen of New York City, and then dump the compost somewhere nobody will notice, like Staten Island or Newark or something. I’m actually not sure because I was distracted by something in the video: something sinister lurking behind the mayor.
I found out that this… thing… is called “Scrappy” (like food scraps I guess?) and is a compost bin which serves as the mascot for the new composting initiative.
I’m sorry, but this compost bin looks high as fuck and I don’t trust it. It looks like it would stand outside of a Whole Foods and ask you to sign something. I can hear it saying something like, “Hey my man, let me ask you something! Do you care about birds?”
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I did some research and found that Scrappy is the newest addition to an existing cohort of DSNY mascots, which includes four different types of garbage and recycling buckets and a lawn trimming bag.
After analyzing the whole gang, I noticed that Scrappy the compost bin pails in comparison to the blue recycling bucket. The blue recycling bucket, simply named “Bobby” for some reason, looks like it suffered a blow to the head from which it never fully recovered.
Here’s the whole gang:
From left to right we have:
“Leif,” the lawn and leaf bag
“Scrappy,” the compost bin we met earlier
“Zero the Hero,” the trash can who symbolizes the city’s goal of producing zero landfill waste by 2030
Some humans, idk who gives a fuck
“Bobby,” the blue recycling bin for metal, glass, and plastic
“Patty Paper,” the green recycling bin for newspaper, cardboard, and magazines.
Each disturbing mascot on its own represents the different objects you have to step over if you want to walk anywhere in this city, but when they come together as one, they represent a complete Sanitation Department that is wholly incapable of keeping the city clean.
I started thinking about other types of trash I often have to step over in this city.
One night a friend and I were out walking and took what we thought was a shortcut through the Southwest corner of Tompkins Square Park. There were numerous syringes scattered across the ground, as well as one sticking out of a man's arm as he sat on a bench swaying back and forth. "Maybe that's the latest Covid booster," my friend ventured.
And it’s not just Tompkins Square Park. Remember the Mayor’s Management Report? According to the report, city workers picked up 32,680 needles in the first four months of FY 2023 alone.
In order to combat the growing syringe problem, from heroin and Covid boosters alike, I've taken it upon myself to design the newest DSNY mascot.
Introducing “Pokey,” the syringe receptacle. He keeps the city clean and free of bloodborne illness. He also wears cool shoes so you know he’s not a cop.
In conclusion, I’d like to thank the Department of Sanitation for their inspiring mascots, though I’m not sure whether they’re inspiring the next generation of kids to keep the city clean, or inspiring the next generation of furries to dress up like garbage cans and have sex with each other. I’m guessing the latter because from the looks of it, nobody is currently inspired to keep the city clean.
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I found a needle at my local beach yesterday. While you might not grab lunch in a homeless encampment in NYC, here you get so used to doing ratchet shit that I genuinely didn't think much of it when I invited mom for a picnic in the shade of the homeless encampment. It SEEMED like a safe alternative to the stray dog encampment that the other shaded area had become. That was until we found the needle in the sandstack. Not unlike your friend, mom offered up that they might have simply been shooting insulin.