BusyBee, a residential cleaning service operating in the New York City metropolitan area through an Uber-like mobile app, has compiled data from the American Housing Survey, the United States Census Bureau, and the Environmental Protection Agency to rank the cities that are in greater need of a thorough cleaning. Unfortunately for residents of the Big Apple, their beloved city was ranked at the top of the dirty scale, and it sits on that position by a considerable margin.
According to the results of the survey, which looked at 40 American metropolitan areas, New York City has serious problems in terms of litter and critters: the dirty index compiled by BusyBee gave New York City a high score of 427.9, which is substantially higher than Los Angeles’ score of 317.8.
The methodology applied by BusyBee includes the presence of litter, trash and bulk discarded items sitting on the street and within 50 meters of residential and commercial properties; this is where New York City has a major problem. Additionally, reports by residents about rats and cockroaches near their homes, workplaces and the retail establishments they frequent also weighed heavily in terms of calculating the final score. To a certain extent, population density also works against New York because residents live closer together than in Los Angeles, which is a sprawling metropolis; however, the litter factor cannot be ignored as neighbors in the Big Apple cannot walk further than 50 meters to see trash on the streets.
Reporters from NYC news station WPIX interviewed residents of the Gowanus district of Manhattan, who were not surprised by the BusyBee study; they noted that municipal services seem to have a hard time picking up all trash from the streets, a monumental and never-ending task that has become unmanageable. There is also a disconnect in the perception of residents and municipal leaders; even though City Hall has assigned more resources to keep the city clean, neighbors continue to complain about trash piling up for the benefit of hungry rodents and pesky cockroaches.
In recent years, social media updates showing rats scurrying away with whole slices of pizza on the streets of Manhattan have achieved viral status, a situation that New Yorkers are not happy with. For all the street litter and trash, residents of the world’s best-known metropolis can take solace in knowing that their city is not the most polluted, that dubious honor goes to Greater Los Angeles and most of Southern California.