The Dirtiest Corners of New York City


Who can blame people who complain about garbage? HouseFresh conducted a new study to determine the “dirtiest cities” in the United States. The analysis of 12,3 million sanitation related complaints submitted to 311 systems throughout the country was used to identify the most polluted cities. The complaints were made between Oct. 23 2021 and Oct. 23 2022 in cities that had a population of over 250,000. 311 data was available to map specific ZIP codes. Denver, Las Vegas, and Phoenix were excluded. Baltimore, which had 42,295 complaints for every 100,000 residents, was ranked as the “dirtiest city” by this metric. Sacramento was the next city, with 31 486 complaints. The fewest complaints per capita were found in Milwaukee — just 309 per 100,000 residents.

New York landed in 17th place, with 3,728 complaints per 100,000 residents, or less than a tenth of Baltimore’s rate. As shown in the chart for this week, not all neighborhoods are equally clean. The study used ZIP codes to narrow down major neighborhoods. It found that 11216, or Bedford-Stuyvesant in our case, had the most complaints per 100,000 people. Four Brooklyn ZIP codes ranked among the 10 dirtiest in the city. Four were in Staten Island, and there was one each in the Bronx and Manhattan.

The 11040 ZIP code collected the fewest complaints, just 176 per 100,000 residents. The distinction is not without a caveat, however: only a small part of the zip code in Glen Oaks Queens falls within the city limits. New Hyde Park is the majority of this ZIP code, located just east of Nassau County. The next cleanest ZIP code was 10044 on Roosevelt Island with only 274 complaints for every 100,000 residents. Sign up for weekly emails on residential real estate.