Wednesday, April 20, 2022



Sealed Containers to Hold Trash Bags Prior to Collection and Keep Plastic Bags Off Sidewalks


Mayor and Times Square Alliance Unveil First Containerized Waste Bins


New Pilot Part of Mayor’s Push to Celebrate Earth Week

New York City Mayor Eric Adams and New York City Department of Sanitation (DSNY) Commissioner Jessica S. Tisch today unveiled the city’s first containerized waste bins in a New York City commercial district as part of efforts to clean up city streets and expand the Clean Curbs Pilot to all five boroughs across New York City. The program tests methods for getting garbage bags off the streets — which in turn will reduce the convergence of rodents, improve aesthetics, and take back parts of city streetscape currently overburdened by piles of trash — and will include possible tests in business improvement districts (BID) and for both residential and commercial waste. Today’s pilot began in one of New York City’s busiest corridors: Times Square.


“Environmental justice begins at the street level, and it starts now,” said Mayor Adams. “Clean streets are vital to vibrant neighborhoods and to New York City’s economic comeback. We need to stop dodging black garbage bags and instead fund and test container models throughout the city that will make our streets cleaner and more inviting for both New Yorkers and visitors.”


“For decades, New Yorkers have normalized the sight of black trash bags on our city’s sidewalks. With the launch of ‘Clean Curbs,’ the Adams administration is transforming what is containing trash across the five boroughs,” said Deputy Mayor for Operations Meera Joshi. “The partnership between city agencies and our neighborhood business districts brings a new vision of how we prioritize sidewalk and curb space for safer, greener, cleaner public spaces throughout the city.”


“Clean curbs mean better experiences for workers, small businesses, families, and tourists in our commercial districts,” said Deputy Mayor for Economic and Workforce Development Maria Torres-Springer. “The interagency partnership between SBS, DSNY, and DOT to get this initiative done is a great example of how we are working together to improve our city, enliven our business districts, and accelerate our city’s economic recovery.”

“Containerization is something that has been talked about for many years, but now we are actually testing what works and what doesn’t in the real world,” said DSNY Commissioner Tisch. “Today’s announcement is a key step in finding ways to take back our streetscape from the mountains of black bags.”


“SBS is excited to work with DSNY and our many nonprofit partners to identify creative solutions to beautify our neighborhoods and accelerate our city’s economic recovery,” said Small Business Services (SBS) Commissioner Kevin D. Kim. “Dynamic BIDs like the Times Square Alliance are essential to the success of our local small businesses. SBS is proud to help fund these pilot programs, which will help push for innovation and help clean up our business corridors.”


“Sidewalks are an essential part of our infrastructure, where millions of New Yorkers and visitors cross paths every day,” said New York City Department of Transportation (DOT) Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez. “Waste containerization is critical to making our public space cleaner, neater, and more accessible for all, and we’re happy to partner with DSNY on this program.”


“With 300,000 people once again walking through Times Square, our commitment to clean sidewalks is a priority at Times Square Alliance,” said Tom Harris, president, Times Square Alliance. “We are thrilled to work with the city to pilot this program here in Times Square and support Mayor Adams’ initiative to bring this to more streets throughout New York City. We appreciate our partnership on this program with DSNY, DOT, and SBS, in addition to our councilmember, Erik Bottcher, who has advocated for cleaner streets throughout Midtown.”


The Times Square bins are the first example of DSNY’s Clean Curbs Pilot Program and will test sealed containers that hold trash collected from sidewalk litter and nearby litter baskets. Currently, many litter baskets in BIDs are cared for by the local association, which monitors litter baskets, and, when full, places bags next to baskets for collection, increasing capacity for the litter baskets but at the same time making trash accessible to rodents. The new containers will act as a centralized site to hold bags in a sealed atmosphere prior to collection.


Times Square Alliance installed two containers, which they maintain; one is located at 41st Street and 7th Avenue, and the other is located at 43rd Street and 8th Avenue.


This pilot is just one initiative underway in the Clean Curbs programs. DSNY and SBS recently announced the Neighborhood Challenge grant program for BIDs and community-based development organizations to make public space and cleanliness improvements with a particular focus on BIDs in underserved communities. Applications for the first round of funding are due this Friday, April 22, and a second round of grant applications will open this summer. The new five-borough test includes $1.3 million in new funding in Fiscal Year 2023.

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