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.
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.
Sometimes the bins take a different shape that is able to sit on (wider-than-NYC) sidewalks.
In Barcelona, whole entire parking spaces (more than one!!!) are repurposed for trash receptacles, bicycle parking, and scooter storage.
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.
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 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!"
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.