This last weekend saw near record breaking snow hit New York and the Eastern Seaboard. As people took stock of the damage and began checking with friends and family, others began the work of getting all that snow off the city streets, powering up the angled snow pushers and other heavy duty snow plows. It cannot simply be left there as a road hazard when people begin driving again. There is a prevalent belief this snow can simply be tossed into a river and problem solved. The problem comes from the pollutants that began to contaminate the moment they touched the ground. Such chemicals and waste cannot be put into the water supply, so where does it go? To answer this question, two cities affected by the storm, Washington D.C. and New York City, will be examined.
- Washington D.C.: The nation’s capitol certainly gets its fair share of snow, but has no permanent snow melting machines, Instead, the snow is carried by snow pushers and left in a number of empty parking lots near the center of town. In these lots, the snow will be slowly melted by the sun, thus ending the problem. Until the next storm, that is.
- New York City: The city of New York is unlike any other, even the clean up after a giant storm. In the areas where rubber edge snow plow have been working, the giant drifts are non-existent, only starting the make an appearance in the middl snowe-class parts of town. Rarely does a rubber edge snow plow make an appearance anymore. Unlike Washington, New York does not have a central area to drop the snow. After all, with a city that size, no one spot would be feasable. New York’s solution and Washington’s are nearly opposites, Washington kept the snow inside city limits, New York opted for an out of sight out of mind method.
Whether a person is using a shovel or a steel snow pusher, the displaced snow must go somewhere. With the snow plow, that must be planned in advance to prevent a reoccurrence of the issue. The good news is that no matter what location a city chooses to put the snow, it is temporary, as the sun will melt it all away in due time.