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Trash bins
Photograph: Courtesy of Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office

These new giant trash bins are being installed across the five boroughs

The Clean Curbs Pilot program seeks to (finally!) solve the city's trash problem.

Anna Rahmanan
Written by
Anna Rahmanan

Here's a fact: There is so much undisposed-of trash around New York that it's becoming extremely hard to safely walk around town—not to mention avoid horrible odors and rodents.

With summer—and the even more horrid smell that the combination of heat and garbage creates—around the corner, city dwellers have been asking the local government to come up with a solution. Now, Mayor Eric Adams hopes to have found one.

Earlier this month, Adams joined the Department of Sanitation Commissioner Jessica Tisch in unveiling new containerized waste bins that will be deployed across all five boroughs. The new sealed containers will hold the trash bags that New Yorkers are now used to seeing in the middle of the sidewalk prior to collection. Think of them as holding cells until collection day. What will happen if all those black bags don't fit in the new bins is yet to be seen.

Part of the Clean Curbs pilot program that was announced two years ago, the first new containers were just installed in Times Square at 41st Street and 7th Avenue and 43rd Street and 8th Avenue in the hopes of improving quality of life, thwarting rats and actually making more room on busy city sidewalks.

"Environmental justice begins at the street level, and it starts now. Clean streets are vital to vibrant neighborhoods and to New York City’s economic comeback," Adams said during the unveiling. "We need to stop dodging black garbage bags and instead fund and test container models throughout the city that will make our streets cleaner and more inviting for both New Yorkers and visitors."

The city has opted not to handle the bins on its own but, rather, partner with Business Improvement Districts, resident groups and other commercial organizations to install and maintain the new containers. Folks interested in managing a bin can apply right here

"It’s time to toss out the old way of collecting trash in our city," said New York City councilmember Shaun Abreu in an official statement. "The Clean Curbs pilot will introduce a top-notch tactic for keeping trash from piling up on our streets. Our residents and businesses can breathe a sigh of relief knowing these containers will keep the neighborhood clean and rodents at bay."

According to an official press release, the new program will cost the city a whopping $1.3 million. Given the staggering amount of waste all over town, that honestly seems like a small price to pay for cleanliness.

The local government is actually doubling down on its efforts to resolve the trash issue. In fact, Adams and Tisch also announced an $11 million investment towards new street sweeper vehicles. The novel machines are specifically designed to fit into narrow spaces like bike lanes, aiming to clean previously unreachable areas.

Here's to hoping a number of other bins will soon be installed across all five boroughs, as promised by the mayor during a press conference.

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