NYC businesses now required to place trash in covered bins

NEW YORK (PIX11) — New York City’s war on rats is advancing to the next phase this weekend. 

The city has been talking about it for a while, and now all businesses must put their trash in covered bins. That means no more of those giant piles of bags on the curb anymore. 

“As soon as they see a lot of food outside, that’s when they come to eat,” said Eileen Polanco.

Polanco has been living in Washington Heights for 45 years and said rats have been a problem here during most of that time.

“It’s a lot of rats all over the place, and it’s difficult to contain,” she said

Difficult, but not impossible, according to Mayor Eric Adams and the city’s Department of Sanitation.

Last year, the city rolled out a crusade against rats. First, the food-related businesses were required to put their trash in sealed bins, and starting this weekend, the rule applies to all city businesses.

“We’ve been rolling it out in phases. We started with restaurants, bodegas, bars and delis. We moved to chain stores. We’ve seen widespread compliance,” said DSNY Commissioner Jessica Tisch.

The manager at Bubbles Posh Pizza said they’ve been complying from day one.

“I believe that it will make a difference,” the manager, Henry Tilo, said.

He’s glad the dozens of retail stores in the area now have to do the same.

“If there’s garbage around, it would deter someone from coming into the restaurant,” Tilo said.

The businesses get a one-month warning period to adapt, then starting on April 1st, violators could get fined. The first violation is $50, which goes up to $100 and then $200 the second and third time, respectively, that a business fails to dispose of its trash correctly.

“It’s about cleanliness, visualization and dealing with the unsightliness of rodents and garbage in our city,” said Adams.

Some residents here said the mayor may be on to something.

“I see a lot of improvement. I see less rats,” said Polanco.

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