Ever since revelers first gathered in Times Square to ring in the new year in 1904, the New York City celebration has been counted among the world's largest and most raucous parties — with a mess to match.

Times Square, New York City, 2015. | (Anthony Quintano / Alamy Stock Photo)

2005. | (Stephen Chernin/Getty Images)

These days, crowds begin to swarm Times Square in the late afternoon of Dec. 31, standing in designated areas along 7th Avenue and Broadway stretching as far north as Central Park. The 12,000-pound crystal ball is ceremoniously lit and raised around 6 p.m., signaling the start of the evening's festivities. When that ball comes back down at midnight, confetti showers the 1 million people partying below.

Then the real action begins. Just after midnight, as partiers are pushed home or to their next venue, New York's Department of Sanitation takes over.

Cleaning up this mess is a logistical feat. On Jan. 1, 2017, 235 workers, 45 collection trucks, 60 backpack blowers, as well as a veritable army of street sweepers, cleared the busy midtown intersection of more than 40 tons of debris by sunrise.

Below, enjoy a tour of previous New Year's messes and the noble work of Times Square cleanup crews.

2009. | (Hiroko Masuike/Getty Images)

2016. | (REUTERS/Andrew Kelly)

2014. | (Rob Kim/Getty Images)

2005. | (Stephen Chernin/Getty Images)

2012. | (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

2016. | (REUTERS/Andrew Kelly)

2015. | (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

2008. | (AP Photo/Jason DeCrow)

2011. | (Jemal Countess/Getty Images)