City Expands Trash Containerization Rules to Most Residential Buildings

Mayor Eric Adams discusses the changes to residential trash containerization rules. Image credit: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office.

On October 11, 2023, New York City’s Department of Sanitation Commissioner Jessica Tisch and Mayor Eric Adams announced the next phase of Mayor Adams’ war on rats: a new multi-part plan requiring residential buildings to begin securing all trash in waste containers. Beginning in Fall 2024, all residential buildings with nine or fewer units will be required to put all trash and waste in containers. By the summer of 2026, residential buildings will be required to place trash in official New York City garbage bins. The new residential garbage container rule will cover 765,000 residential buildings in New York City.

“Our administration is winning the war on rats, and we are keeping up the fight. With this new plan to put residential trash in containers, 70 percent of trash in our city will be off of our streets and out of rat buffet lines,” Mayor Adams said of the new program.

The official New York City garbage bins that will be required to be used starting in 2026 will be available from a vendor chosen through a request for proposal process. Requests for proposals opened on the same day the plan was announced. Despite New York City providing free and unlimited trash collection, property owners will be required to purchase the official New York City garbage bins. The request for proposal states the official bin price will start at no more than $50 and will cap prices at substantially lower than trash receptacles at retail stores.

The official bins will be designed for mechanized collection and the Department of Sanitation will retrofit or replace garbage trucks to be compatible with the new bins, adding mechanical tippers to the trucks that will improve speed of collection and prevent street mess from manual collection. The Department of Sanitation has required whichever vendor is selected to produce the official bins to make multiple sizes available and to conform to a number of aesthetic specifications, ease of use by sanitation workers, last at least ten years, and, importantly, rat resistant.

The new plan is part of a Mayor Adams’ larger initiative to combat New York City’s rat problem. Other efforts have included the appointment of Kathleen Corradi as the City’s first “Rat Czar” last year and expanding the commercial trash containerization rules to all business in September.

Sanitation Commissioner Tisch stated, “Less than one year ago, we stood in front of City Hall and declared war on the rats, war on the bags, and war on the idea that other cities could get their trash off the streets, but New York couldn’t. We’re closer than ever to showing the doubters, the rat-sympathizers, and the trash-lovers just how wrong they were.”

By: Vanessa Cameron (Vanessa is a CityLaw intern and a New York Law School student, Class of 2024.)



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