New York City Mayor Eric Adams has unveiled new anti-trash technology as part of the next phase of the city’s “war on trash.”

New York City has undertaken significant efforts to overhaul its waste management system, including efforts to containerize the city’s trash – ensuring it is off the streets and into secure, rodent-resistant containers. Adams recently announced a new data-driven containerization strategy, which will help the city identify the best trash containers for buildings of different sizes.

“Rats and black bags are heading off our streets — no room for them in a containerized New York City,” said Deputy Mayor for Operations Meera Joshi. “Thanks to the hard work of DSNY [New York Department of Sanitation], we have a smart containerization plan that meets the diverse needs of the city. New Yorkers and visitors are getting the clean, welcoming streets they deserve.”

Under the new data-drive model, buildings with 31 or more residential units will be required to use stationary, on-street containers for their trash, serviced by new automated side-loading garbage truck. The city noted that those on-street containers will be assigned to a specific building, and will be used solely for residents of that building.

Buildings with 10 to 30 units will be able to choose between stationery on-street containers and smaller wheelie bins. Buildings with one to nine residential units will be required to put their trash in individual wheelie bins starting this fall. The city explained that this model was informed by a volumetric analysis of how much trash buildings of different sizes produce, on average.

“New Yorkers have been clear: they’ve had enough of the black bags occupying our sidewalks, enough of the oozing garbage juice, and enough of being told that other global cities can have something that we can’t,” said DSNY Commissioner Jessica Tisch. “This administration rejects the cynicism that says things can’t change, and the speed at which we’ve moved to change the relationship between 8.3 million New Yorkers and 44 million daily pounds of trash cannot be overstated.”

The city also unveiled a new automated, side-loading garbage truck, which is says will remove a major barrier to containerizing trash from high-density residential buildings. The truck was unveiled ahead of schedule, according to the mayor’s office. His office explained that less than one year ago, industry experts estimated that development of this prototype truck would take up to five years. The city noted that the rapid development of this prototype will be followed by substantial testing and training.

“Today marks an historic win in the war on trash,” said New York State Assemblymember Jenifer Rajkumar. “Four years ahead of schedule, we are taking major strides toward citywide waste containerization, launching automated side-loading collection trucks and using data models to rightsized containers. Once we containerize waste, we rid our streets of the unsightly mountains of garbage bags where rats feast away, instead securing those bags in rodent-proof containers … Through the dedication of Mayor Adams and Sanitation Commissioner Tisch, we will enjoy a city where streets are immaculate, trash is out of sight, and rats are begging for food.”

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Kate Polit
Kate Polit
Kate Polit is MeriTalk SLG's Assistant Copy & Production Editor, covering Cybersecurity, Education, Homeland Security, Veterans Affairs