DSNY is proposing to amend its rules to mandate “ all food-related businesses must set out any putrescible solid waste … in rigid receptacles with tight-fitting lids..”  

While we applaud this proposal, we strongly object to the proposed rules for storage of the containers: “If other storage areas on the premises are not available, receptacles may be stored in the area within 3 feet of the building line on the sidewalk, provided that such receptacles are maintained in an orderly manner and do not impede or obstruct pedestrian flow on the sidewalk.”

When will NYC agencies understand that a sidewalk is a walk lane, not a cellar ? Can you imagine recommending to store containers in a bike lane or a moving lane 24 hours a day? After years of trying to get rid of garbage on the sidewalk, this rule would have the reverse effect. It would bring a serious degradation of the pedestrian space and quality of life for millions of commuters, tourists and pedestrians in general. See our letter to Elected Officials

Please tell DSNY to remove this provision and put trash in the parking lane – if needed. Here is the email address

To illustrate the unintended consequences of this proposal, after 6 p.m. during peak commute hours there will be residential trash containers at the curb and simultaneously empty commercial containers along the buildings.  This will take away a minimum of 6 ft of sidewalk. On 9th Avenue where food establishments occupy 90% of ground floors in narrow residential buildings, this situation will occur every 25 ft. and continue from 6 pm to midnight/ 2 am when most of the businesses close.

During the day we all know what will happen: all operators will feel authorized to store containers of any size on the sidewalk for the whole day ; as shown above, many will not just store the containers, but throw their garbage in them without sealing the top, favoring rats and much more invasive than the current system – which is only after 8 pm. Other obstructions like sandwich boards will be installed in front of the containers and good luck to get sanitation to enforce any of it. They visit only two hours twice day.

DSNY will hold a public hearing on the proposed rule. The public hearing will take place via Webex at 10:00AM on June 22, 2023. Here are the details

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