New Yorkers will soon have to put out their trash much later in the day as the city looks to address its growing rat problem.
Starting April 1, residents will not be permitted to put out plastic trash bags out on the curb before 8 p.m. —the day prior to the scheduled pickup. New Yorkers will also have to put out trash in containers with lids after 6 p.m.
The current rule allows residents to put trash out on the curb starting at 4 p.m., which city officials say is the earliest time of any major U.S. city. Given the early time, garbage often sits on the curb for nearly 14 hours total, officials say, before its collected.
The NYC Department of Sanitation will begin enforcing the new trash setout times next month as part of its efforts to keep the sidewalks clean. The new rules also aim to limit the amount of time trash bags are on the sidewalk and thereby reduce rat and other pest problems.
The fine for a first violation will be $50 and it will escalate to $100 after that.
“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,” said Mayor Eric Adams, when he announced his plans to adjust the times at a press conference last year. “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.”
The city is also changing the times for businesses too.
Business owners are also prohibited from placing trash bags on the curb before 8 p.m. However, they can put out containers with tight fitting lids one hour before closing, with bundled cardboard permitted to go next to a container.
The DSNY has been attending community board meetings throughout the city and distributing mailers in recent weeks to notify the public of the change. The agency also said that it plans to do more of its collection during the midnight shift to reduce the amount of time trash sits on the street.