NEW YORK (PIX11) — Restaurants, bars, bodegas and delis in New York City are being told to put a lid on it.
Starting Tuesday, any food-related business that puts trash at the curb for pickup needs to use a garbage can with a secure lid.
“The types of businesses that produce an outsized amount of food waste, which is also rat food, they’re going to have to containerize their trash,” Sanitation Commissioner Jessica Tisch recently told PIX11 News.
Sammy Musovic, the co-owner of Sojourn and Sojourn Social on the Upper East Side, told PIX11 News he recently spent $250 per large garbage container. He keeps the secure containers with lids in the restaurant’s basement and hauls them out to the curb right before the private sanitation company comes to haul them away.
Amy Lin, the owner of JJ Brown Cup on Second Avenue, also recently purchased smaller containers with a lid. She used a strap to make sure the lid can’t be popped off.
It’s the latest rule enacted by the NYC Department of Sanitation in an effort to cut down the food supply for the city’s booming rat population.
There will be a one-month grace period, but after Sept. 1, food-related businesses that use black bags or bins without a secure lid will be fined. It’s $50 for the first offense, $100 for the second and $200 for continuing violations during a 12-month period.
Back in April, the city pushed back the time garbage can be put on the curb to leave the rats less time to eat.
“Since those rules went into effect and we started enforcing them, a 20 percent drop in the number of rat complaints to 311. That’s over a period of three months as compared to one year prior, the same period,” Tisch told PIX11 News. “Not only is this a big drop, but it’s also one of the first drops we’ve seen in rat complaints, so we really feel this is an initiative that’s working.”