New York summers have a steady reputation for being, at best, pungent, and, at worst, vomit inducing. The standard ‘hot trash smell’ complaint is heard daily, but thanks to the City of New York’s Open Data website, you can now see exactly which smells the people of your community formally bitch about the most. The complaints take the form of 311 service requests, where the public can call in and report non-emergencies—nauseating stenches included. While we can still rejoice that the city no longer smells suspiciously like maple syrup, check out our recent complaints here:
Catch a whiff of something unsettling? The source is most likely Manhattan, whose whopping 11,837 total odor complaints come 318 ahead of second-place Brooklyn’s 11,519. They’re way ahead of everyone in restaurant odor (2,552 compared to Brooklyn’s 956, and Staten Island’s meager 38), and also top the charts for odor complaints of chemical, nail salon, dry clean, private carting, restaurant, idling vehicles, and chemical vapor odors. Manhattan has additionally had the most reports of manhole explosions in the past nearly five years. Fun!
Queens has the most sewage odor complaints; it's just ahead of Manhattan. Brooklyn leads in treatment plant-related odor complaints, with 272 more than every other borough combined. Brooklyn also has the most reports of abandoned unsafe chemicals—unsurprisingly, considering Brooklyn rats have evolved enough to ride the A train.
Speaking of animals, Brooklyn also has the most animal odor complaints, which can stem from pet shops, shelters, kennels, and residential buildings. Half of the odor complaints in the Bronx are comprised of chemical; the vapor/gas option is indicative of indoor air quality, while the plain ‘chemical’ option distinguishes general hazardous materials. Last but not least, give a slap on the back to Staten Island, for having the lowest amount of odor complaints for literally every category. Congratulations!