Even Americans who havenât visited know that New York City never sleeps. Endless streams of people on the street and taxi cabs clogging the roadways are just part of the ceaseless movement in the city. With a population nearing nine million people, New York City always has something going on within its five boroughs.
With all the commotion, itâs safe to say that New York City could be one of the loudest cities on earth. However, it seems that New Yorkers are getting tired of the noise more than usual this year. From COVID-19 lockdowns to widespread protests, New York City has become quite chaotic lately â is this the cause of the increase in noise complaints?
We analyzed data from NYC OpenData, which includes a database of 311 calls placed within the city. We looked at noise complaint calls placed from February 1, 2020, to June 30, 2020, and from February 1, 2019, to June 30, 2019.
We also used available population estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau to weigh noise complaint call data in relation to the population of each New York borough: The Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens and Staten Island.
Noise complaints rise 106% in one year
Itâs no secret that New York City is a noisy place ââ the bustling streets and never-ending traffic jams create quite the cacophony of sound. However, it seems like residents are complaining about noise more than ever, especially since last year. Total complaints more than doubled from this time last year, increasing by 106 percent.Â
Hereâs a breakdown of the data between 2019 and 2020:Â
Noise complaints increased by over 106 percent from 2019 to 2020 (within the measured time period). The city also saw a 97 percent increase in complaints from the beginning of April to the end of May 2020, marking the largest jump in noise complaints so far this year. These increases paint a striking picture of the considerable changes in city life over the last several months.
COVID-19, lockdowns and protests in NYC
The beginning of March marked the start of quarantines, lockdowns and panic over the COVID-19 pandemic. With such a huge population density (27,000 people per square mile), New York City quickly fell into chaos as the virus spread through the city ââ as of June 30, there were over 212,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in New York City alone.
Quarantines and lockdowns within the city meant millions of people began working from home. With so many now at home from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., itâs no surprise that New Yorkers had more to complain about when it comes to noisy neighbors and the sounds of city traffic. The data reflects this timeline perfectly, showing a difference of nearly 10,000 additional complaints logged in March (compared to February).
The end of May 2020 came with a new noise in New York City: protests. This unrest was widespread across New York City, with protests in all five boroughs. The sheer volume of these protests can be seen clearly in the data we analyzed. From the beginning of May to the end of June, noise complaints increased by 79 percent. Additionally, complaints of âloud talkingâ more than doubled from the beginning of April to the end of May, about the time when the protests began.
Battle of the boroughs: Who complains the most in NYC?
Despite having a smaller population than other boroughs, The Bronx has logged the most noise complaints in 2020 so far ââ a total of 81,869 complaints logged from February to June.
Because populations differ across the five boroughs, we divided each boroughâs total complaints by its respective total population to find comparable percentages.
Borough-specific data is below:
- The Bronx: 81,869 total complaints (6 percent of the population)
- Manhattan: 74,661 total complaints (5 percent of the population)
- Brooklyn: 73,899 total complaints (3 percent of the population)
- Queens: 49,469 total complaints (2 percent of the population)
- Staten Island: 6,635 total complaints (1 percent of the population)
A borough rich in local culture, The Bronx has been called the birthplace of hip-hop and salsa, is home to Yankee Stadium and boasts one of the most diverse populations in the city. This diversity could be related to a higher volume of noise complaints, especially since a 2017 study published in the Environmental Health Perspectives Journal determined that neighborhoods with higher poverty rates and larger minority populations experience more noise pollution than other neighborhoods.
New York City explodes with fireworks
From the beginning of April to the end of June this year, complaints about illegal fireworks increased by a staggering 283,595 percent ââÂ only 19 complaints were logged in April, while complaints in June totaled 53,902. Brooklyn is seeing the majority of complaints about fireworks, with approximately one in three complaints originating from the largest of the boroughs.
Fireworks are the second most complained-about noise in New York City from February to June, with loud music and parties taking the first place prize for the most complained-about noise (157,823 total complaints during this time period). With this in mind, itâs important to note that 311 OpenData categorizes these complaints in their own section, rather than grouping them with other noise complaints.
Here is a breakdown of the noises New Yorkers complained about the most in June 2020:Â
- Loud music and parties: 73,238 complaints
- Fireworks: 53,902 complaints
- Traffic: 10,795 complaints
- Loud talking: 7,213 complaints
- Construction: 2,014 complaints
While summer fireworks in New York City have always been present, this year is definitely unique. The unusual volume of fireworks has raised many conspiracy theories among New Yorkers, with some claiming the government is using the fireworks to desensitize the public to âwar-like sounds.â Others claim the police are using the fireworks as a punishment for the recent protests, while some say New Yorkers are simply bored in quarantine.
Whatever the cause of the fireworks, they are wreaking havoc across the city. Countless residents have been hospitalized with firework-related injuries and the city government has created a police taskforce to curb illegal firework activity, with police donning riot gear and arresting anyone believed to be involved.
New York City has always been loud, but 2020 seems to have turned up the volume in the city. Noise complaints are at an all-time high with no end in sight. If youâre living in New York City this summer, there are easy ways to soundproof your home.
U.S. Census Bureau | New York City OpenData: 1, 2 | Gothamist | The Atlantic
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Metal water bottles have been all-the-rage for a couple of years now. Not only are they friendlier for the environment, but they’re also more cost-effective than purchasing disposable plastic water bottles.
Another great thing about metal water bottles is they’re more durable than plastic or glass bottles. Like all other bottles, however, it’s important to keep mold and unwanted bacteria out of your metal water bottle, so cleaning it regularly is highly recommended.
If you’re wondering how to clean the inside of a metal water bottle, fortunately, all you need is a few household items to start cleaning. If you’re looking for different ways to clean your metal water bottle, you’ve come to the right place! Whether it’s a just quick solution or a more thorough cleaning process, we’ve got you covered.
- Simple cleaning
- Cleaning your lid
- Cleaning your straw
- Deep cleaning
The simple cleaning process
To start cleaning your metal water bottle, gather the following household cleaning items:
- Baking soda
- White vinegar
- Sponge or bottle brush
Cleaning your metal water bottle
- The first thing you’ll want to do is to remove the lid, then pour a couple of tablespoons of white vinegar into the bottle. From there, screw the lid back on and shake the bottle well to evenly coat the sides of the bottle.
- Remove the lid, keep the vinegar inside and fill the bottle with water until it’s about halfway full. Next, take your sponge or bottle brush and scrub the insides, then remove the brush. Screw the lid on once more and shake again.
- Pour the contents out and rinse thoroughly with hot water.
- Your metal water bottle will be as clean as new.
If the smell of vinegar isn’t for you or if you’re on the go, there’s another option for cleaning your metal water bottle â cleaning tablets. All you have to do is add some water to the bottle you wish to clean, drop in a tablet and shake it like it’s your job.
They’ll completely dissolve while shaking so there’s no need for a bottle brush or any other tools. Once it’s dissolved dump out the water and rinse the bottle once more.
One thing to keep in mind is that the tables are, of course, single-use.
The simple lid cleaning process
Cleaning your metal water bottle is really as simple as that. But what about the lids? People often neglect cleaning the lids of their water bottles. The lids are important to clean because they collect a lot of dust and other bacteria throughout the day as you touch the top of the water bottle frequently. Luckily, the lids are just as easy to clean as the bottles.
To start cleaning your lid, gather the following items:
- Baking soda
- Dish soap
Cleaning your metal water bottle’s lid
- First, you need to fill a bowl with hot water and baking soda.
- Soak the lids and caps in the hot water and baking soda for approximately 2-3 hours.
- After 2-3 hours have passed, rinse out the lids with hot water and dish soap.
- Use Q-tips to clean any other hard to reach areas within the lid.
- Rinse fully with hot water and your lid should be good to go.
The simple straw cleaning process
Similar to lids, bottle straws are often forgotten. To start the cleaning process grab the following items:
- Hot water
- Dishwashing liquid
- Straw brush or pipe cleaners
Cleaning your metal water bottle’s straw
- First mix the hot water and dishwashing liquid in a bowl.
- Dip the brush or pipe cleaner into the solution and insert it into the straw. Keep in mind that the brush should be big enough to touch all sides of the brush.
- Rinse out the straw with water and you are ready to go.
Do a deep clean!
If you’re in a rush, doing a quick clean as mentioned above should do the trick. However, it’s suggested that you should do a deep clean at least once per month depending on how often you use your water bottle. If you use your water bottle daily, you might want to deep clean your bottle weekly.
Deep cleaning your metal water bottle
To deep clean your metal water bottle, it’ll require a bit more time and attention. Consider utilizing these two ideas below for deep cleaning your water bottle.
- Fill your metal water bottle with boiling water and let it sit overnight. In the morning, rinse out the water bottle and wash intensely with dish soap. The boiling water will disinfect germs and get unwanted bacteria out.
- Consider getting a bottle brush. A bottle brush helps you clean hard to reach areas and scrubs the bottom and sides of your water bottle. Just fill your metal water bottle with boiling water and mix in some dish soap. Then, use your bottle brush to get a good scrub in. The bottle brush will get any mold that’s accrued over time out quickly.
By using either of these two cleaning methods, you’ll ensure your water bottle is free of bacteria and any built-up mold. To deep clean the lids, you can and should soak the lids in boiling water overnight, as well. It works like magic!
Clean your metal bottle regularly
As noted above, metal water bottles are easy to clean, yet people often neglect cleaning them. Now that you know how to clean the inside of a metal water bottle don’t be that person that lets their water bottle sit in the car without being cleaned for months on end.
Letting bacteria and mold creep in can affect your health in negative ways. Stay healthy by cleaning it out regularly and doing a deep clean at least once per month. Perhaps consider adding it to your spring cleaning schedule and then, you’ll never forget!
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