With trash bins now required in NYC, only the rats are sorry to see the garbage piles go

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NEW YORK — New York City’s tradition of piling garbage bags on the sidewalk for pickup is going the way of the dinosaur.

As of Friday, all 200,000 businesses in the Big Apple are required to put out their bags of trash in garbage bins, as communities across the country and world have long done.

The requirement is the next phase in the city’s efforts to curb what Mayor Eric Adams’ administration has called a “24-hour rat buffet” of trash on sidewalks.

The city in August started requiring restaurants, convenience stores and bars to use a sturdy trash can with a secure lid and extended the requirement to chain stores the following month.

Now every city enterprise, including mom-and-pop shops, must comply. In the fall, residential buildings with nine or fewer units will come under the mandate.

Eliminating the mounds of trash that come from larger residential buildings is still a work in progress. Starting in spring 2025, all buildings in a handful of neighborhoods in Manhattan will be required to use outdoor receptacles as part of a pilot project.

Adams announced last month that the city will eventually roll out trucks capable of lifting and emptying large on-street containers, which will be needed to accomodate all the waste from high-density buildings. While common elsewhere, they will be a departure for New Yorkers accustomed to the sight of sanitation workers tossing in bags by hand.

Commercial trash makes up nearly half of the some 44 million pounds of refuse collected by the city each day, according to Adams, who has made combating the city’s rodents a focus.

City officials will issue warningsto businesses for the first month of the new mandate, and will begin issuing summonses in April, Sanitation Commissioner Jessica Tisch said in media appearances Friday morning with Adams.

Joshua Goodman, a spokesperson for the city sanitation department, said the only requirement for businesses is that they use a solid bin with a secure lid.

Businesses must work with their waste hauler to find out what kind of receptacle they should use, because business trash is collected by private haulers, not the city.

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