The Sanitation Commisionner is introducing a much needed change: put your garbage out by 6 p.m. instead of 4 p.m. if you use a sealed container or 8 p.m. if you want to stick with bags. This is a very clever proposal that achieves multiple goals: it gives an incentive to switch to closed containers, which reduce rats. The 8 p.m. put out time, which also applies to commercial trash clears the sidewalk for the commute time. If adopted, the rules would take effect in April 2023.

One critical option is missing from this proposal: why not put the containers or the bags in the parking lane instead of the sidewalk? As the picture above shows, a mountain of trash will need 300 ft of sidewalk to line up once put in container of 55 gallons. And in Manhattan, who wants to come out of the restaurant or the theater and walks past garbage bags? This is what CB4 proposed in its Sanitation in buildings report.

With the various Clear Curbs pilots underway and the McKinsey study that just started, we must keep pushing for the parking lane to be part of the solution.

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