New York's Cooperative and Condominium Community

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Small Co-ops and Condos Must Use Garbage Bins Starting Next Year

New York City

Garbage bins, city mandates, co-op and condo boards, rats, garbage set-out times.

Mountains of garbage bags on sidewalks will soon be a memory as city mandates solid garbage bins.

Oct. 17, 2023

Co-op and condo board members in New York City must feel like they're working at the car wash — because those unfunded city mandates never seem to stop coming.

The newest is the requirement that all residential buildings with nine or fewer units — which account for 95% of residential properties in the five boroughs — must store their garbage in containers starting in the fall of 2024. The boards, landlords and owners of those 765,000 buildings will be required to obtain a bin and set it out on the curb each collection day. The new mandate is, according to Crain's, part of the city's years-long quest to rid sidewalks of putrid mountains of plastic garbage bags — while reducing the dining options for the city's rats.

“We’re showing real urgency to change the paradigm,” Sanitation Commissioner Jessica Tisch says. “New York City is not going to be the first city to put our trash in containers. In fact, we are going to be the last.”

New York has indeed lagged behind peers like Chicago and Washington — not to mention global capitals such as London and Tokyo — in its failure to containerize its waste. Mayor Eric Adams has sought to reform the antiquated system, most recently by requiring all businesses to containerize their trash starting in March. The city has also shifted the earliest set-out times for garbage to 8 p.m. from the old time of 4 p.m., which was one of the earliest set-out times in the nation. Building supers continue to grate against this latest mandate, which has extended many of their work days late into the evening.

The city will roll out its own official bin and is now soliciting bids from vendors to design it. That bin will be available once the mandate takes effect, and residents will be required to start using it by summer 2026. Although co-op and condo boards, landlords and homeowners may grumble about the need to buy new receptacles, city officials tried to assuage any concerns by vowing that the official “NYC Bins” will be priced at no more than $50 — well below retail price for similar products. City officials also noted that other cities charge residents for waste collection as well as the cost of bins, while New York provides waste collection for free.

Ah, the many perks of working at the car wash in New York City.

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