Rat concerns prompt city to reconsider trash pickup
Nothing gets New Yorkers steamed up like traffic problems and close encounters with native wildlife — aka rats. The city is now considering changes to garbage collection rules that could affect both.
The department says it is “strongly considering” requiring individual black trash bags to be placed outside after 8 p.m. The city will pick up bags overnight to minimize time spent on the street.
“New Yorkers put millions of pounds of trash and recycling on the street from 4 p.m. – just as the evening rush begins – and then it stays outside, serving as a nightclub for rats and the like parasites, until they are collected. Very soon we will try to close the club,” the department said in a statement.
The proposed exclusions would apply to most commercial and residential buildings.
Apartment building owners would be allowed to take out their trash at 6 p.m., to comply with daytime maintenance staff, as long as they place trash in a bin with a secure lid.
Businesses would be allowed to take out their bins within an hour before closing for the day, to minimize disruption to staff, provided the bins are also in bins with secure lids. For many companies that would be 4 or 5 p.m.
For its part, the sanitation service will switch to collecting more waste between midnight and 8 a.m., giving priority to individual bags. This will also help to remove sanitation vehicles from the roads earlier, which will ease road traffic during the morning commute.
The aim is for residents, especially those using individual black bags, to try to take out their bins later at night and for the sanitary facilities to try to collect them earlier in the morning, which will help relieve rats and the traffic at the same time.
The Rent Stabilization Association, which represents 25,000 landlords of more than one million apartments in the five boroughs, told ABC News the policy likely won’t completely eliminate the rat problem.
“This will not solve the city’s rat problem,” a spokesperson for the association said. “Rats don’t follow a feeding schedule.”
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