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Sanitation Workers On 12-Hour Shifts During Winter's Numerous Snowstorms

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TWC News: Sanitation Workers On 12-Hour Shifts During Winter's Numerous Snowstorms
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The warmer forecast means sanitation workers have a few days to clear away the snow and garbage that's been piling up on the sidewalks. NY1's Michael Herzenberg spoke with one who's been working 12-hour shifts and filed the following report.

City garbage collectors have returned to picking up trash instead of the snow.

Thomas DiMicelli hass been on his dream job at the Department of Sanitation for seven years.

"I wanted to do this since I'm a little kid," he said.

He said that this is the worst winter he's had, with eight storms kicking him and more than 4,800 co-workers into 12-hour shifts.

"We've just been getting hammered left and right with the snow," DiMicelli said.

Many have been working 17 days straight, doing this for the city.

Meanwhile, DiMicelli still has to pick up the ice at home while the errands pile up.

"It takes a toll on you," he said.

It also takes a toll on his wife and family.

"Holding down the fort is hard," said Joann DiMicelli, Thomas' wife.

Their two teenagers understand, but the 5-year-old takes it harder.

"My daughter knows now when she opens the window and it's snowing, she's like, 'Daddy's not coming home,'" Joann DiMicelli said.

But on Tuesday, dad gave up some sleep to watch dance practice, something that might make months of longer winter hours seem shorter.

The trash gets heavier buried under snow and ice, especially with less sleep.

"It gets to you," Thomas DiMicelli said. "You're tired."

These guys are making plenty of overtime. That's time and a half on top of a top base salary of nearly $70,000 a year.

"Money's not everything. Happiness is," Thomas DiMicelli said. "I'd trade it in just to be with my family."

The Department of Sanitation's snow season budget was $57 million. The mayor added $35 million to that, but it does include payment for vehicles, equipment and repairs.

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