On Dec. 31, hundreds of thousands gathered in Times Square in the heart of New York City in one of the world's largest New Year's celebrations. Yet one hour after ringing in the 2014, all that remained in the cleared out crossroads of the world was piles and piles of trash.
Last year the Department of Sanitation picked up over 50 tons of refuse left behind by the revelers and while this year’s statistics are not yet available, the numbers are likely to be much the same.
Sanitation workers and members of the Times Square Alliance team worked through the night to pick up trash including lost hats, gloves, scarves and even cash. Despite the cold temperatures, Greg Banister, who works for the Department of Sanitation, says working in the wee hours of the New Year is fun.
"I always have a good time,” he told ABC News. “People are in the party mood."
Yet, while the iconic New Year’s celebration is fun, the environmental cost of all that trash is not. Worldwide celebrations everywhere left trash-filled streets and contributed thousands of tons of refuse to landfills around the globe.
Aileen Lucero, of the Philippines believes that the time has come that we no longer start the New Year with so much trash and waste.
“We surely can have a garbage and toxics-free society by embracing a more eco-friendly way of life,” she said.
The waste management expert warned that if something is not done, eventually the world’s trash will overtake us and the planet.
“Otherwise, our littered streets will turn from bad to worse and our garbage production will perpetually swell, polluting surroundings near and afar and consuming lots of public funds for cleanup and disposal,” she stressed.