Trash in low rise residential buildings must be containerized starting Nov. 12: Mayor

Mayor Eric Adams demonstrating the new wheeled and lidded official “NYC Bin” outside of Gracie Mansion. Monday, July 08, 2024.
Photo courtesy of Mayor Eric Adams’ Office

Mayor Eric Adams on Monday announced that owners of residential buildings with nine or fewer units will be required to place their trash in containers starting Nov. 12.

The mayor also unveiled the new official “NYC Bin.” Owners of small residential buildings and single-family homes must purchase the bins and begin using them by June 2026, the mayor said. 

The wheeled bins are decked out with latching lids, designed to keep rats out, and a metal bar on the front that will allow the city’s newly retrofitted garbage trucks to pick them up.

Adams lauded the latest development in the city’s “trash revolution” during a July 8 news conference, where he demonstrated taking out Gracie Mansion’s trash in the new bins. He also said containerizing the city’s trash is also a step toward putting New York on equal footing with other modern cities, which already place their garbage in bins.

“For too long, public space has been hijacked,” Adams said. “We all see it, mountains and mountains and mountains of plastic bags … We are leaders, we lead from the front and we are going to make sure that we catch up with everyone else and make sure that we get these plastic bags off our streets.”

The announcement represents the latest step in the Adams administration’s ongoing effort to move away from mountains of unsightly black garbage bags piled on Big Apple sidewalks — a prime food source for the city’s rat population — and toward placing refuse in secure containers. Adams, an avowed rat-hater, has made decimating the city’s rodent population and having cleaner streets central tenants of his mayoralty.

Adams said that once the rule goes into effect on Nov. 12, the city will have containerized 70% of its 14 billion pounds of annual trash.

“That’s nearly 10 billion pounds of trash each year that we won’t see or smell,” Adams said. “They won’t clutter our sidewalks, they won’t ruin our days, when rats run across and out of our garbage. This is a real revolution.”

While smaller-sized residential buildings and single-family homes must start placing their garbage in containers this fall, they can keep using their own bins until June 2026, when the mandate to purchase the official NYC Bins will kick in. Many buildings with nine or fewer units already use bins for their trash, according to city Sanitation Commissioner Jessica Tisch.

The new “NYC Bin.”Image courtesy of Mayor Eric Adams’ Office

However, property owners are already required to have bins that must be 55 gallons or less and have latching lids, according to City Hall.

The city is selling the new bins for less than $50 for the most common size, a price the Sanitation commissioner said is far cheaper than those of comparable quality in the marketplace. She added the bins are now available for property owners to order online at bins.nyc.

“If you don’t already have a bin, get the new NYC Bin for far far less than you would otherwise be paying, and do that before Nov. 12,” Tisch said.

The rule will also apply to so-called “special use buildings” including city agency buildings, houses of worship and professional offices in residences.

Once the rule goes into effect, the city will have a warning period for building owners to transition to containers through the end of the year, according to City Hall. It will then begin imposing fines on Jan. 2, 2025. 

The fines will begin at $50 for the first offense, increase to $100 for the second and then $200 for the third and each one thereafter.

“As we’ve rolled out containerization requirements, we’ve always done a grace-period, a warning period, where we hand out, usually it’s about one month, tens of thousands of warnings,” Tisch said. “They look a lot like summonses and that is on purpose and that’s so that people will pay, so people will feel the impact of it.”

The latest announcement follows similar rules requiring all of the city’s 200,000 businesses to begin placing their trash in containers taking effect in March.

Additionally, the mayor announced earlier this year that he will launch a containerization pilot program aimed at large buildings with 31 or more units in upper Manhattan’s Community District 9 next spring. The pilot will see large stationary trash containers placed on city streets throughout the area that will be paired with new side-loading Sanitation Department trucks.