NEW YORK (WABC) -- A new plan to containerize trash at nearly all residential buildings in New York City was announced on Wednesday.
Mayor Eric Adams has made it clear that cleaning up the streets is a top priority and the sanitation department revealed the next step in its plan to fight rats.
New York City officials say leaky trash bags are basically a buffet for the rodents. In an effort to deal with the problem, the city has already announced that all businesses will soon be required containerize their trash.
But now private residences will have to be a part of the solution too.
Adams was joined by Department of Sanitation Commissioner Jessica Tisch to announce the newest phase of the administration's so-called "war on rats."
The city will soon require buildings with nine or fewer units to containerize their trash -- that's approximately 765,000 New York City buildings and about 95% of residential properties across the five boroughs.
It's the next step in the plan to get the black trash bags off the sidewalks by requiring a secure, lidded container.
"Our administration is winning the war on rats, and we are keeping up the fight," Adams said. "With this new plan to put residential trash in containers, 70 percent of trash in our city will be off our streets and out of rat buffet lines. We are moving aggressively to execute our ambitious vision and deliver the clean, safe city New Yorkers demand and deserve."
Starting March 2024, all businesses in the city will be required to place their trash in containers. They estimate that will get 20 million pounds of trash off of city streets each day.
Since July of this year, all food-related businesses - including restaurants, caterers, grocery stores, delis, and bodegas, among others - have been required to containerize their waste. On September 5, the rule expanded to cover all chain businesses with five or more locations in the city, regardless of what they sell.
"Less than one year ago, we stood in front of City Hall and declared war on the rats, war on the bags, and war on the idea that other cities could get their trash off the streets, but New York couldn't," Tisch said. "We're closer than ever to showing the doubters, the rat-sympathizers, and the trash-lovers just how wrong they were."
And it was also announced Wednesday that the city is starting a competitive process to design, build and sell the new wheelie bin.
The next phase will have to be implemented starting fall of 2024, but the official wheelie bins will be required by summer of 2026 after a design is finalized. The city says they will cost less than $50 each.