Mayor Eric Adams Unveils NYC Trash Bin and Announces New Fall Rule

Mayor Eric Adams Unveils NYC Trash Bin and Announces New Fall Rule

Mayor Eric Adams, alongside Department of Sanitation Commissioner Jessica Tisch, unveiled New York City’s first official trash bin outside Gracie Mansion on Monday morning. This marks a significant step in the city’s ongoing efforts to clean up its streets and combat the growing rodent problem. Starting November 12, landlords of residential buildings with one to nine units will be required to use trash bins with secure latching lids.

“Many property owners already use bins for their trash and pay over $100 retail to keep the streets clean,” Tisch noted. “Well, we’ve got great news: at the same time that we’re moving to require containerization of trash for all buildings with one to nine residential units, we’re unveiling the official ‘NYC Bin’ – beautiful, durable, and less than $50 for the most common size.”

The new containers are expected to keep city streets cleaner by eliminating the need for black trash bags, which often attract rats. “They are getting more and more bold,” Adams said about the rodent issue. “They no longer run from you; they just hang out and do what they want. And we want to make sure that we change that in a real way.”

By November 12, city officials aim to have containerized 70% of New York City’s 14 billion annual pounds of trash within two years. “Today, we are tossing even more black bags into the dustbin of history and taking the next step forward in our ‘Trash Revolution,'” Adams declared.

Starting June 1, 2026, buildings will be required to use the official NYC Bin to facilitate faster, safer, and cleaner mechanized collection with rear-loading “tipper” garbage trucks.

In a related announcement, Mayor Adams and Commissioner Tisch introduced a new automated, side-loading garbage truck, which will allow for the containerization of trash from high-density residential buildings. This new truck, developed in Torino, Italy, and in both Hicksville and Brooklyn, New York, is expected to significantly speed up trash collection and reduce manual labor.

“The data is clear: Under our administration, New York City’s streets are cleaner. And as of this fall, thanks to the bold steps we have taken, a full 70 percent of New York City’s black bags will be off our streets and put into containers — but we’re not stopping there,” said Mayor Adams. “The new garbage truck we’re unveiling today — four years ahead of schedule — represents the future of New York City garbage collection.”

The new strategy also includes a data-driven model to determine the type and size of containers needed for buildings of different sizes. Buildings with 31 or more residential units will be required to use stationary, on-street containers serviced by the new automated side-loading garbage truck. Buildings with 10 to 30 units will have the option to choose between stationary on-street containers and smaller wheelie bins. Buildings with one to nine residential units will be required to use individual wheelie bins starting this fall, with the official NYC Bins becoming mandatory by the summer of 2026.

Manhattan Community Board 9 will be the first district to have 100 percent of its trash containerized and serviced next year. The district is currently home to a successful containerization pilot on 10 residential blocks and at 14 schools, during which rat sighting complaints dropped by 68 percent compared to the same period the prior year.

The Adams administration has rapidly implemented an ambitious, phased approach to trash containerization. In October 2022, the administration changed set-out times for both residential and commercial waste from 4:00 PM to 8:00 PM, while allowing earlier set-out if the material is in a container. This incentivization of containerization was paired with major changes to DSNY operations, picking up well over a quarter of all trash at 12:00 AM rather than 6:00 AM, particularly in high-density parts of the city.

In April 2023, DSNY published its “Future of Trash” report, the first meaningful attempt to study containerization models in New York City. By July 2023, containerization requirements went into effect for all food-related businesses in New York City. These businesses produce an outsized amount of the type of trash that attracts rats. In September 2023, commercial containerization requirements extended to chain businesses of any type with five or more locations in New York City.

Starting March 1, 2024, container requirements will go into effect for all businesses in New York City to get their trash off the streets and into a secure bin. Later this fall, when container requirements go into effect for low-density residential buildings, approximately 70 percent of all trash in the city will be containerized.

The official NYC Bins will be designed for mechanized collection. DSNY will retrofit or replace hundreds of collection trucks, adding mechanical tippers compatible with the new bins. This upgrade will speed up collection and minimize the possibility of street mess from manual collection. The bins will be available from one authorized concessionaire, selected through a competitive process, and will be designed to last at least 10 years.

“Stepping over trash piles on the sidewalks and dodging rats on the streets are universal New Yorker experiences that shouldn’t be,” said New York State Senator Brad Hoylman-Sigal. “Clean streets and clean air should be a right, not a privilege. I am delighted that our mayor and other city officials are being tough on trash and rats, which is a long overdue priority for New York.”

“Mayor Adams’ latest salvo in his War on Rats echoes a passage in Sun Tzu’s Art of War: if the enemy is well-supplied with food, the clever combatant can starve him out,” said Assemblymember Jenifer Rajkumar. “The mayor is that clever combatant, choking off the food supply of our rats. His plan to containerize 95 percent of waste at residential properties across the five boroughs by Fall 2024 takes millions of pounds of rodent fuel off our streets each day, rendering rats unable to go forth and multiply.”

The Adams administration is also advancing a plan to containerize residential trash in the remaining 5 percent of buildings, which have 10 or more units. While the bins for buildings covered by today’s announcement are placed on the sidewalk for collection, containers for the largest buildings will go on the street. This on-street container approach is being piloted on 10 residential blocks and at 14 schools in Hamilton Heights, Manhattan.

The truck needed for the at-scale use of fixed on-street containers, known as an Automated Side Loader (ASL), does not currently exist in North America. DSNY is currently developing a prototype of an ASL that meets North American regulations.

“Trash belongs in bins, not on our streets. I am so thrilled to join Mayor Adams and Commissioner Tisch in announcing this ambitious residential containerization plan,” said New York State Senator Brad Hoylman-Sigal.

Source: WABC-TV, New York City Department of Sanitation

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