NEW YORK (PIX11) — Parking spots or rats? That is the question being asked as residents and community board members digest the New York City Sanitation Department report “The Future of Trash.”

A pilot program to be launched in the fall will put large shared containers on 10 blocks in Morningside Heights and Washington Heights.

The DSNY report estimated that the containers will take up between 10% to 25% of curb parking on any given block. That would mean if this became a citywide program, it would result in the loss of an estimated 150,000 parking spots.

Drivers like Peter Hason said car owners are being squeezed between street sheds for restaurants and Citi Bike racks.

“How many parking spots can we lose before there are no more? Why don’t they just say they don’t want cars in New York,” he asked.

Sanitation Commissioner Jessica Tisch told PIX11 News the closed trash containers are already successfully used in cities like Paris, London and Amsterdam. Tisch said it’s necessary to get the black garbage bags off the streets.

“Twenty-four-million pounds (of trash bags) a day are filled with 8 million pounds of food, and unfortunately, rats eat the same food that humans eat,” the DSNY commissioner said.

When asked about motorist concerns over potentially losing more parking spots, Tisch responded, “I want to be really clear that this was just a feasibility study. We are not contemplating today removing any parking spots.”

While it may not happen immediately, the report states, “The results of this pilot will provide critical information required for future expansion.”

City Councilman Shawn Abreu, who represents the district where the pilot program will take place, told PIX11 News, “That is the question. Do you want rats on the street, or do you want parking?”

You can read the DSNY report here: