New York City Department of Sanitation Proposal

Currently, commercial properties can set out their trash and recyclables for collection beginning an hour before closing, or two hours before a scheduled collection. In practice, this means commercial properties can set out waste on the curb at any point, taking advantage of the law’s vague requirements.

Combined with residential trash setout starting at 4 pm, this creates NYC’s five o’clock shadow of trash bags on sidewalks during the PM rush hour and into the evening, as New Yorkers are coming home from work and school. It also creates an all-you-can-eat buffet for rats, allowing them to feast on New York City’s trash and infest our neighborhoods.

DSNY is proposing to eliminate the City’s five o’clock shadow and ban trash bags set out for collection before 8 pm or require that trash set out earlier be in lidded containers. This will clean up our streets, reduce rat infestations and contribute to our City’s recovery.

The choice is simple: if you want to use trash bags, set your waste out after 8 pm. If you have to set out your waste earlier, you have to use a container with a lid.

Proposed Rule:

  • Commercial properties can place trash and recycling out for collection no earlier than 8 pm on the day prior to scheduled collection.
  • If businesses use a container with a lid, they can place material out beginning one hour before closing. Containers should be compatible with their private carter’s collection requirements.
  • No trash or recyclables can be placed out in bags before 8 pm, period.
  • Any waste setout after 8 pm must be collected by the private carter by 6 am the following day.
  • This rule would not apply to properties that have containerized (roll-off or dumpster) collection or have collection that takes place in a loading dock or on private property.


  • No more trash bags on the street before 8 pm, eliminating piles of trash during the peak evening commute and when New Yorkers are coming home from work and picking up their kids from school.
  • Less access to food for rats and other rodents, who feast on the all-you-can-eat buffet of trash on our sidewalks
  • Same rules for residential and commercial properties – no one can place trash out on the curb in bags for collection before 8 pm. This creates a clear enforcement standard and strict accountability for rule-breakers.



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