Brooklyn Boro

Dept. of Sanitation announces new trash pickup rules starting in April

Mayor and DSNY restrict hours trash can be placed on curbside in effort to beautify and restore: public hearing Nov. 10

October 17, 2022 Brooklyn Eagle Staff
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The Mayor’s Office and the Department of Sanitation (DSNY) announced Monday the opening of the public comment period for new proposed rules regarding trash pickup, reducing the number of hours that trash and recycling can sit out on the sidewalks and the time of day it can be picked up from the curb.

“Bags of trash sitting on the curb for hours have hurt our city’s recovery for too long and is one of the most indelible images of New York, but, today, we’re saying enough is enough by making a generations-overdue change that will have a real impact on the cleanliness of our streets,” said Mayor Adams.

“By drastically reducing the amount of time that black bags can sit on our curb, we’re not just catching up with other cities but surpassing them and leading the nation again. This announcement will keep our streets clean, it will discourage rats from running their own version of Open Restaurants, and it will mean no more tripping over black garbage bags at rush hour. We’re not going to let New Yorkers be plagued by rats — we’re going to keep our city squeaky clean.”

Currently, trash can be placed on the curb after 4 p.m. the night before collection, creating a 14-hour gap where the garbage is exposed to the streets even during rush hour. The time reduction for trash pickup will discard the eyesore of black bags and rats, boosting the city’s recovery, according to public statements from the Mayor’s Office.

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“Trash goes to the curb to be picked up — not to feed rats, or to be scattered on the street. Decreasing the amount of time household trash is on the curb is a clear, common sense step our city can take to decrease our rat population and keep our streets cleaner,” said New York State Senator Andrew Gounardes.

“I applaud Mayor Adams for leading DSNY to make this change today and look forward to continue working with the Mayor and DSNY as we strive for a cleaner New York.”

“The time to do this was really in the 1970s when the city banned residential incinerators and created the modern black bag regime, but the second-best time is right now, when our city’s recovery hangs in the balance,” said DSNY Commissioner Jessica Tisch.

Here’s the proposal for restricted trash pickup hours to end the infamous “Five O’Clock Shadow”:

Place trash out after 6:00 p.m. in a secure container,
Place trash out after 8:00 p.m. if putting bags directly on the curb, or
If a building has nine or more residential units, the property owner may opt in to a 4:00 – 7:00 a.m. window instead. The opt-in period will run for the month of January each year, allowing DSNY to design quick and efficient routes that take effect April 1.

Businesses that use private waste haulers may engage in two different options, as the rules also apply to commercial establishments:

Place trash out after 8:00 p.m. if putting bags directly on the curb or
Place trash out one hour before closing in a secure container.

The current date the new rules are slated for full effect is April 1, 2023. The public hearing for the rules is November 10 at 9:30 a.m., after which official regulations will be created for April. Residents may submit public comments via email on the city’s website.

“The commissioner brings up a very important point — the black bags are on the streets too long, and every day the city’s sanitation workers do their part to collect them. We know this will make a real difference in the cleanliness of the streets,” said Harry Nespoli, president, Uniformed Sanitationmen’s Association Local 831.

The DSNY has increased trash collection in the early hours of the morning and late at night– even more than during the pandemic. The department reportedly picks up over a quarter of the city’s trash at night: more than five million pounds, according to the mayor’s office.

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