NYC trash pick-up problems expected after vaccine mandate begins

Trash complaints are piling up from Brooklyn to Staten Island.

Some residents in the Midwood section of Brooklyn are complaining that it's been days since the trash has been cleared.

There are reports that sanitation workers have been in a "work slowdown" ahead of a vaccine mandate that goes into effect on Friday.

People say piles of trash remain in the streets for days until the Department of Sanitation comes to collect them.

It's a similar problem across southern Brooklyn and Staten Island.

RELATED:  FDNY union warns of 'lives lost' if vaccine mandate enforced

"It's really dirty.  It's not acceptable," one woman told FOX 5 News.

Around 62% of sanitation workers are vaccinated.  Any workers who do not have at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine by 5 p.m. on Friday will be suspended without pay.

The mayor has admitted that there are some issues but says they will be addressed.

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"We're seeing some areas where the totals just don't add up in terms of the trash being picked up," Mayor Bill de Blasio said on Wednesday.  "We're going to the union today to say that this has to be addressed."

The Department of Sanitation issued a statement to FOX 5 News saying:  "We are aware that there are collection delays.  Residents may leave their material out - 9,500 DSNY employees work to collect 12,000 tons of trash and recycling each day, in every part of the city, and we continue our work."

But the president of the union that represents sanitation workers disagrees and blames the storm this week for pick-up delays.  He also warns that the vaccine mandate could cause some workers to retire early and lead to a shortage of sanitation workers to pick up garbage.