What to Know
- The mayor announced Monday that the time when residents and building owners can begin putting out their trash for collection will be pushed back four hours starting in April 2023
- The Department of Sanitation pitched the idea of changing the times trash hits the curbs in July, with the mindset that waste should not be out for long periods of time to prevent giving rodents a lot of time to smell and go after it.
- According to new government data, rat sightings across the city have increased by 71% since this time in 2020. By the end of September, there were more than 21,000 reports.
Rats are running rampant in New York City like never before -- and faced with ongoing complaints across the five boroughs, Mayor Eric Adams announced a new plan Monday: You'll have to start putting your garbage out later.
As it stands, NYC residents have been able to put out trash for pickup the next morning starting at 4 p.m. That start time will be pushed back to 8 p.m., the Democrat said. If you have a garbage container with a lid, you can put it out at 6 p.m.
There's a bit of in-the-weeds stuff around trash pickups for residential buildings and commercial buildings. None of the changes take effect until April 1, 2023, so there's time to figure it out.
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Some key details:
Under the new city rules, which will go into effect on April 1, 2023, residential buildings will have three options:
- Place trash out after 6 p.m. in a container with a secure lid,
- Place trash out after 8 p.m. if putting bags directly on the curb, or
- If a building has nine or more residential units, the property owner may opt-in to a 4 a.m. – 7 a.m. window instead. The opt-in period will run for the month of January each year, allowing DSNY to design efficient routes that will take effect on April 1.
At a press conference announcing the new plan Monday, Adams decried the current policy as outmoded, saying it has been in place since 1969.
"It makes no sense that these garbage bags remain on the streets for such a long period of time. They have become 'open season' for rodents going into these bags, creating a real health problem in our city," the mayor said. "Fighting rats is something that we are focused on as we continue to make this city a livable city. Rats have no place in this city and we are going to use every method that's needed to [eliminate them] so they are not harming families and our quality of life."
See Mayor Adams' full announcement in the player below.
According to new government data, rat sightings across the city have increased by 71% since this time in 2020. By the end of September, there were more than 21,000 reports.
Rat complaints initially spiked in 2021, Daily News reported, with many blaming their population surge on the outdoor dining structures that had been built amid the pandemic. But even as some restaurants have reeled in their outdoor dining sheds, the problem with the vermin has not gone away — in fact, many city residents would agree that it has only gotten worse.
Over the summer, New York City Council members presented a five-point "rat action plan" to solve the issue, which includes rat-proof trash bins. It's expected to pass sometime in October.
The Department of Sanitation pitched the idea of changing the times trash hits the curbs in July, with the mindset that waste should not be out for long periods of time to prevent giving rodents a lot of time to smell and go after it.
During Monday's announcement, NYC Department of Sanitation Commissioner Jessica Tisch said that in order to bring the plan to fruition there "were a lot of stakeholders at the table."
“This announcement shows just how much is possible when we bring everyone to the table,” said Chief Advisor Ingrid Lewis-Martin. “I’m grateful to 32BJ, REBNY, and Teamsters Local 831 for coming together with this administration to deliver a win for millions of New Yorkers and help build a cleaner, more welcoming city for all.”
"Right now the situation for commercial trash is almost worse than the situation for residential trash," Tisch said. "The rule just says bags can go all over the sidewalks an hour before closing -- who even knows when closing time is anymore?"
Because of this confusion, the city has clarified rules for commercial establishments, which do not receive service from DSNY but rather from private waste haulers. Businesses now have the following options:
- Place trash out after 8 p.m. if putting bags directly on the curb or
- Place trash out one hour earlier if it stays closed in a secure container with a lid.
The city also said that the Sanitation Department is doing more of its collection on the midnight shift than pre-pandemic. This overnight collection is about one-quarter of all collection operations — which translates to roughly 5 million pounds each night.
The proposed rules are subject to public comment under the City Administrative Procedure Act. The comment period is open until Thursday, Nov. 10, and a public hearing is set for that day at 9:30 a.m. Once public comments are considered, the sanitation department will publish the finalized new rules later this year.
Comments can be submitted by email, mail, or via the city’s website.