DSNY Launches New Rule Requiring Trash Containerization for Food-Related Businesses

Mayor Adams announcing changes to containerization requirements for certain businesses. Image Credit: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office.

On June 28, 2023, Mayor Eric Adams and Sanitation Commissioner Jessica Tisch announced the finalization of a new administrative rule requiring food-related businesses to put trash in secure containers. The announcement is the newest part of the city’s efforts to combat rodent infestations. 

Under the new rule, all food-related businesses, including restaurants, delis, grocery stores, bodegas, and caterers, will be required to put trash and compostable materials into secure containers instead of placed in bags directly on the street. Approximately 40,000 businesses citywide – or 20 percent of businesses in the city – will be impacted by the new rule. 

The rule will go into effect July 30, 2023 and will be published in the City Record later this week. 

In addition to the new rule, the administration is beginning the rulemaking process for a second rule that will expand containerization requirements to all chain businesses with five locations or more citywide. All businesses covered under both rules will have flexibility on the type and location of containers as long as the containers have a lid and secure sides. Containers may be stored inside or within three feet of the property line. 

In combination, both rules are expected to cover 25 percent of businesses citywide, which created approximately four million pounds of waste each day. Removing these bags off the streets and into secure containers removes another food source for rats and other pests. 

Mayor Adams stated, “New York City used to be known for our mean streets, but, going forward, we’re going to be known for our clean streets. Today, we take giant steps towards that goal by announcing new rules to containerize trash in our city that, once finalized, will cover 25 percent of businesses and result in 4 million pounds of trash getting disposed of in secure bins each day. These two simple proposals will have a transformative effect on our city and will eliminate the mountains of food waste piled up on bags on our sidewalks – making our streets cleaner for New Yorkers and less appetizing for the rats.”

Sanitation Commissioner Tisch stated, “New York is the home of the best restaurants in the world. I know it, you know it – and the rats know it, too. When you leave food behind, they’re ready for a gourmet meal, with the black bags outside food-related businesses basically serving as a to-go box for the rats. That ends now.”

By: Veronica Rose (Veronica is the CityLaw fellow and a New York Law School graduate, Class of 2018.)



Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.