This foul situation has happened over the years, most recently in 2006. But a weeks-long walkout in November 1911 was particularly nasty.
“In one block in 49th Street the reporter counted 84 cans, every one piled high with garbage and other refuse, while near the avenue corners were big piles of garbage, mostly of rotting perishables, which, like those in 47th street, were surrounded by playing children and scavenging cats and dogs,” reported the New York Times four days after the strike began.
[A horseload of trash being deposited on 72nd Street and First Avenue]
“With many once-clean sections of New York looking like a vast slum as mounds of refuse grew higher and strong winds whirled the filth through the streets, Mayor Lindsay made a brief inspection tour and reported grimly that, “the situation is getting very serious.”
[Here's a grim Mayor Lindsay touring a Harlem street with aides.]
The late 1960s were rough on the city. Not only did sanitation men walk off the job, but so did teachers and transit workers.
Tags: garbage strike 1911, garbage strike 1968, history of garbage NYC, Mayor Lindsay New York City, New York in the 1960s, Sanit men New York City, Sanitation strike 1911, Street cleaners strike 1911