On December 19th, 2022, something truly remarkable happened on the West 45th Street block between 9th and 10th Avenues: the sidewalks were nearly 100 % clear of garbage the night before the sanitation pick up. It gives back to pedestrians up to 30% of the space. People in wheel chairs or parents with a stroller can finally access their door.

This is the result of a year-long collaboration between DSNY – as a terrific project leader, DOT, CITIBIN and CHEKPEDS to substantially implement a system CHEKPEDS had proposed to DSNY in 2019. See all the details here.

In a first for New York City, multiple buildings share communal trash containers. Citibin modified the containers so that building staff deposits trash bags from the sidewalk side in the appropriate containers (trash, paper, and plastic- metal) and sanitation personnel picks it up from the street side. Supplemental sanitation service cleans around and inside the containers after pick ups.

The placement of modules, which take up a single parking space each, was calibrated to reflect existing volumes by building and provide proximity to most of the buildings.

This is the best thing that ever happened to us

building staff

Beside immaculate sidewalks in front of their buildings, this system has many benefits for building staff: it avoids summonses due to bags broken up by scavengers, and it allows them to empty their cellar and deposit trash in containers at any time.

Sanitation personnel has an unobstructed access to the trash, instead of jumping over parked cars, and the bags are unbroken.

The pilot will continue for 12 months with key success indicators being tracked. The sanitation department has hired McKinsey to study how to reengineer the collection of trash on a large scale, we hope they will consider this model as well as Manhattan Community Board 4 ‘ s recommendations for improving trash storage in buildings .

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