If you see one of these (below) coming your way, jump! They are the small plows that speed along the sidewalks, removing snow and depositing salt and (*argh!*) tiny rocks that I have heard are actually a by-product of aluminum smelting (these are for traction).
Once the snow has been prepared for removal, you will see lines of empty dump trucks like the one below.
And then along comes the snowblower, picking up all the snow and depositing it in the trucks to be hauled away. While it used to be dumped into the river, salt and all, they are now a little more environmentally conscious and work to try to recover some of the salt and process the rest before it gets to the river.
Here is a full truck speeding by my apartment to get rid of the snow:
This can be a very efficient exercise when all the drivers obey the 12-hour no parking periods to allow for snow removal (those who park get towed, but it slows the whole thing down). This time, my side of my street was cleared overnight between Friday and Saturday (2 days after the snow) and the other side was done the next night. They are so efficient at getting rid of it that when I came home from shopping on Saturday afternoon the sidewalk on my side of the street was actually bare and dry (a little help from the sun being out, too).
And all of this accounts for tens of millions of dollars in the city's budget each year, but, like I said in a previous post, it is the stick by which we measure the effectiveness of the municipal government. If the mayor can't get rid of the snow within 5 days, it's time to consider getting rid of the mayor.