This is war! On rats, that is.
Today is the last day for co-op and condo boards to apply for an exemption from a new rule that says building owners cannot set out their garbage and recycling before 8 p.m., effective April 1. Buildings of nine units or more have the option of setting out their garbage and recycling between 4 a.m. and 7 a.m. on collection days, but they must sign up by the end of today. To sign up, click here.
By moving the garbage set out time from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. (or to early-morning hours) and increasing nighttime pickups, the city's Department of Sanitation is hoping to reduce the time unsightly mountains of garbage bags sit on sidewalks — and in doing so reduce the smorgasbords that attract the city's large and growing population of rats.
Buildings that use enclosed containers 55 gallons or smaller can place their garbage and recyclables curbside beginning at 6 p.m. when the new rules go into effect on April 1.
Buildings that apply for the 4 a.m. to 7 a.m. set-out time will receive confirmation in March of their participation in the program. Once enrolled, buildings will face penalties for setting out garbage at any other time. Next January there will be an opportunity to opt out for buildings that find that early morning set-out hasn’t worked for them.
On another front in the war against rats, Mayor Eric Adams announced in his State of the City address that curbside organics recycling, after a successful trial rollout in Queens, will soon expand across the city. For now, the program of placing biodegradable waste in brown bins will be voluntary, though advocates are pushing to make it mandatory, as is the recycling of glass, plastic and paper. The organics recycling program will launch in Brooklyn this October, followed by the Bronx and Staten Island in March 2024, and finally Manhattan in October 2024. The goal of the program is to keep organics — coffee grounds, egg shells, food scraps, yard waste and more — from winding up in landfills, where they contribute to the generation of methane, a greenhouse gas.
"In just three months, a pilot composting program right here in Queens kept nearly 13 million pounds of kitchen and yard waste out of landfills," Adams said. “Imagine how much we will accomplish when every family in the city is participating."
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