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Morning Spew

Pry My Commercial Garbage From My Cold, Dead Paws

And more disturbing links for your Wednesday morning.

New York City Mayor Eric Adams and DSNY Commissioner Jessica Tisch unveil new trash containerization plan on September 19, 2023.
(Ed Reed / Mayoral Photography Office)

Has Mayor Adams ever experienced the full-body ecstatic trance that you get after you wriggle and writhe your way through a bag of pizza joint refuse or the offal from a Polish butcher shop? The tingling sensation when you soak your fur in Flushing's finest Sichuan cuisine? The feeling of triumph and pride when you finally manage to gnaw through a bag at Lilia or 4 Charles Prime Rib? 

Of course not. Because if he had, he and his cronies at the Sanitation Department would never have escalated their war against street trash—and against rathood—to the nuclear level by announcing on Tuesday that as of March 2024, all businesses must containerize their trash. That means no more bags of delectable commercial garbage sitting on the streets, ever, by pain of fine. 

Some of us moved to the city (or up to street-level from the labyrinth of tunnels that run below it) for the restaurants, and we all moved here for the garbage—and now the Adams administration is trying to take that away from us? It's subrat behavior—but clearly not subhuman.

Dedicated Hell Gate readers may recall that I was a more optimistic columnist around this time last year, when the mayor and Sanitation Commissioner Jessica Tisch pushed back the period during which trash bags were allowed to sit on the sidewalk before pickup, from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Yes, it was an explicitly anti-rat move, but honestly? We're fucking rats. We don't know what time is! I even wrote that if the City really wanted to do something about us, containerization would be the answer—but I didn't think they had the balls or the organizational savvy to actually execute! Rat God be damned, I was foolish.

But earlier this month, when the City started to hand out warnings to food service businesses for not containerizing their waste, I started to sweat. (They've been doing the same thing for any business with more than five locations because, oh yeah, we're so eager to get a piece of the garbage from Staples—not!) But this latest announcement has chilled me to my core. "I knew, like any New Yorker who walks the streets at night knows, that the bags of trash and the rats represent a united axis of filth that conspires to challenge our city's success," Commissioner Tisch said on Tuesday. I'm sorry, but whose city do the mayor and DSNY think this is

The only silver lining I can see is that while we lose unfettered trash access, according to this announcement our spots on the city's sidewalks remain secure, because that's where the commercial garbage receptacles will be placed. So, we'll still be able to chew on the wiring underneath cars enjoying free street parking. That's basically the equivalent of going to the bar and shooting pool for rats, in case anybody even cares—and in this political climate, we're gonna need to blow off some serious steam by way of this Honda Accord.

Unfortunately, rats can't vote. But we can blog. And speaking for the approximately three million of us, let me say this: We are Legion, and we will not give up our delicious, delicious business garbage without a fight. Or, I don't know, we'll just get our restaurant fix from all the vulnerable, non-containerized leftover DoorDash orders that NYU graduates who work in marketing and live in Williamsburg throw away every night. We're kind of adaptable like that.

And now, adapt your eyes to these links:

I kind of think she's lying.
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