The members of New York’s Strongest are ready for their close up.
The 2018 Sanitation Department calendar, released this week, celebrates the men and women responsible for some of the most important — yet often underappreciated — work in the city.
And don’t expect any eye-popping cheesy shots. These artful portraits were taken to highlight the workers and their indomitable spirit.
“It’s an honor,” said Joe Caggiano, 75, the longest serving sanitation worker in the history of the department (and January’s featured subject). “After 51 years of service, it’s great to be recognized. And it really helps with morale.”
The CityStore, located in the Municipal Building, is hosting a calendar signing with a few of the calendar’s stars on Thursday from noon to 2 p.m.
Sanitation Commissioner Kathryn Garcia launched the calendar in 2016 to give New Yorkers a look behind the scenes, as well as a glimpse of the diversity of people and jobs in the department responsible for collecting the city’s 12,000 tons of daily refuse and recycling.
“It’s too easy to forget New York’s Strongest — the hard-working, dedicated people who help us stay healthy, make our streets safe and keep our city clean,” said Garcia. “Our 2018 DSNY Calendar sheds a daily spotlight on just some of our unsung heroes who keep New York City a great place for the rest of us.”
The calendar is also packed with tips and information on recycling and waste disposal.
The portraits were taken by longtime DSNY photographer Michael Anton, who has cited old-fashioned Hollywood glamour as his inspiration.
“I’m really flattered and honored,” said Maggie Lee, records management officer at the department, who is featured in the calendar. “It also helps show the really good, critical work that is done here by great people.”
Caggiano said this kind of attention would have been unfathomable when he first took the job in 1966.
“People are starting to realize how important this job is,” he said.
Lee said the calendar will be a surprise for her parents who live out of state.
“I am sending them a copy with a note to check out May,” she laughed.