Ladies and gentlemen: New York City’s new trash cans are here

Goodbye, green waste baskets.

Anna Rahmanan
Written by
Anna Rahmanan
Senior National News Editor
New trash cans in New York
Photograph: Courtesy of the Department of Sanitation

It's the dawn of a new era in New York: the city will finally replace the 22,000 green trash cans that have been peppering the streets since 2002, introducing a modern design that will—supposedly—help curb the rat-related issues that citizens have been dealing with for years now.

According to the New York Times, the new receptacles are lighter, stackable and easier to transport than the old ones, boasting three different design parts meant to maximize the products' functionality: a concrete base that will make it hard for them to tip over, a hinged metal lid and a removable "plastic basket that sanitation workers will lift and empty."

Perhaps most importantly, the items will no longer feature the sorts of holes that defined their predecessors, a design flaw that allowed for rodents to easily access the trash inside. 

In the past few years, there has been a lot of talk about the local garbage situation, with New Yorkers complaining about the piles of refuse left in the middle of the sidewalk by all sorts of businesses, a fact that has clearly delighted the city’s rodent population, which has been quickly multiplying in recent times.

The installation of the new waste baskets, based on the winning design from a city-wide competition that was launched back in 2018, is only one of the many solutions put forward by the local government to deal with the trash problem. Back in April, for example, NYC named its new Rat Czar, tasked with getting rid of mice as soon as possible, and, just last month, the Department of Sanitation announced its new commercial containerization policy, requiring that food establishments put out their waste in bins with secure lids and not bags.

According to the paper of record, 300 garbage cans are currently being replaced, with another thousand on the way and even more scheduled to be ordered in the near future.

For once, we're actually delighted to wave goodbye to an iconic part of New York's street life. 

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