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NYC is limiting how long trash bags can sit on a sidewalk

Will this help prevent the putrid smell that now defines our sidewalks?

Anna Rahmanan
Written by
Anna Rahmanan

It's all hands on deck when it comes to the city's problem with rats: just over a week after four members of the City Council presented a five-point "Rat Action Plan,” the Department of Sanitation (DSNY) has limited the time that businesses and buildings are allowed to put out their garbage bags, reports the New York Post.

Specifically, the DSNY is asking all to start putting trash bags on sidewalks starting at 8pm nightly. Currently, garbage time kicks off at 4pm. The proposal makes an exception for garbage that is stored in a bin or a can, which would be allowed to sit out starting 6pm.

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"New Yorkers put millions of pounds of trash and recycling on the street starting at 4pm—right as the evening rush is getting underway‚and then it stays out, serving as a nightclub for rats and other pests, until it’s collected," Joshua Goodman, a spokesman for DSNY, said to the New York Post. "Soon, we're going to try to shut the club down."

The changes may take some time to be implemented, though. As reported by the paper, DSNY still has to submit draft regulations to the City Record, an action followed with a public comment period and an eventual approval. The whole shindig may take up to six months.

This isn’t the city’s first effort to tackle issues related to the city’s garbage. Back in April, Mayor Eric Adams joined DSNY commissioner Jessica Tisch in unveiling new containerized waste bins to be deployed across all five boroughs. The relatively new massive sealed containers will hold the trash bags that New Yorkers are now used to seeing in the middle of the sidewalk prior to collection.

Of course, we hope this latest measure will help curb the rat problem we've been dealing with for years but, since we're on the topic, we'd also like to point out that we can no longer take the putrid smells that seem to have permanently been infused into our streets. Resulting from a combination of the endless amounts of trash that sit out for hours and New York's intolerable heat in the summer, a mere whiff of the "scent" makes us dizzy. Here's to hoping the new trash times will get rid of that horrible smell as well.

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