Cleanup crews hit the streets shortly after midnight Thursday following the 2009 ball drop. Sanitation spokesman Keith Mellis said 163 people worked until 8 a.m. to sweep up the party trash, and a new shift started at 11 a.m. to tidy the area.
Because of the wind — nearly 25 mph gusts throughout the city — the department wasn't quite sure how much trash was strewn about, but Mellis expected a little more than last year's 40 tons. The Times Square Alliance, which puts on the event, said about 1 million people attended.
The biggest cleanup challenge is shooing away the massive crowd so crews can being work, Sanitation Commissioner John J. Doherty said.
"It takes a while," he said. "Last night was a windy night. There's probably confetti as far as the East River."
"There were an awful lot of good things that took place in 2008," he said. "Fewer people went to bed hungry, fewer people slept without a roof over their head, democracy continues to work in this country."Copyright 2009 The Associated Press.