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Morning Spew

Monday Rat Buffet in Trash City

Mayor Eric Adams wants to end NYC's early bird special for rats. Will it matter?

5:17 AM EDT on October 17, 2022

Mountains of trash pile up outside a residential building in Manhattan.

Status quo (Hell Gate)

Will New York City rats care if their daily street buffet starts four hours later?

On Monday, Mayor Eric Adams and his Sanitation Commissioner Jessica Tisch will announce a new policy that would prevent New Yorkers from setting their bags of garbage out before 8 p.m., up from the current time of 4 p.m. The proposal would cut the maximum amount of time the delicious sacks of rancid rat feed sit out in the open from 14 hours to 10 hours.

“If the bags are sitting out there for 14 hours, that is a long buffet, and we want to shut it down," Tisch told the Times.

New York is doing an abysmal job of handling its solid waste, and has been for years. Change will require a dedicated, and personally accountable public servant, as well as resources, both of which seem to be in relatively short supply these days. Moving trash pickup up by four hours is an inexpensive tweak that is better than doing nothing.

However, here's one interesting aspect of the new proposal, per Politico:

City officials will also allow businesses to set their garbage on the curb an hour before they close, provided they use bins with secure lids. That could create regulatory headaches, however, given businesses have varying closing times that can be difficult to pinpoint. City officials are also allowing residential buildings to put their trash out at 6 p.m. if it’s in containers.

Containers! The City is encouraging the use of private containers...while it continues to plod along with a tiny "pilot program" for municipal trash containerization. But here it is, in black and white: containers work to deter rats and make streets cleaner and safer. Do we still need to pay McKinsey nearly $4 million to tell us this?

Unlike his Chief of Staff Frank Carone, Hell Gate has not been asked by Mayor Adams to travel the world and come up with cool ideas for New York. However, we recently had the privilege of visiting some of the larger cities in Spain, and despite being up with the men and out with the boys every single night, we failed to detect a single rat.

Aren't you just aching to toss your waste materials into these puppies?

Look at these big, beautiful, rat-proof containers in Valencia!

Note to NYC's landmarks and preservation heads: look how well new infrastructure compliments old.

Would you rather have plastic bins next to your old cathedrals or rats?

Sometimes the bins take a different shape that is able to sit on (wider-than-NYC) sidewalks.

Wow what an extremely handsome bin for refuse and recyclables.

In Barcelona, whole entire parking spaces (more than one!!!) are repurposed for trash receptacles, bicycle parking, and scooter storage.

This combination of bike corrals, trash bins, and scooter storage would spur 15 separate lawsuits if currently implemented on the Upper East Side.

In the narrow streets of the Gothic Quarter, where bins won't fit, trash is placed outside, a la Gotham City, but there are seemingly no rats to partake.

I wouldn't eat off this street but apparently neither would a rat.

Still don't believe that a less trashy world is possible? Enjoy this gripping video documentation.

Here's what else we're thinking about, aside from drinking cheap delicious wine and reading in large public plazas in 78 degree weather:

  • Are you sitting down? Mayor Adams has apparently turned the Parks Department into a "patronage mill" for his buddies and political allies.
  • The Mayor’s Office of Intergovernmental Affairs is holding up street improvements like bus lanes and pedestrian infrastructure. “This is more of a NIMBY City Hall,” a source told Streetsblog.
  • The Daily News reports that the MTA misled the public about the actual costs of the East Side Access project for years. On Sunday afternoon, the MTA released a whole statement on the story that boiled down to "well yeah, but this is old news!"
  • Suicide attempts on Rikers Island are high, so why aren't Correction Officers completing their prevention courses?
  • Area man's gubernatorial campaign endorsed by former U.S. President.
  • City budget cuts are coming close to decimating NYC daycare centers.
  • Park Slope Panthers discourse continues in the form of all parties essentially agreeing to the premise that yes, the police are pretty useless here.
  • Chuck Schumer is merely the majority leader of the United States Senate. But you, the person who just paid for a coach ticket on an airplane? You actually have the power to change an industry that for years has operated like a cartel to jack up fees while shrinking the size of airline seats.
  • Meryl Streep has her makeup on and is not coming back.
  • We're glad this bird is OK! (lol)

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