NYC unveils new trash can that will replace ‘iconic’ green mesh bins

September 14, 2023

Photos courtesy of the NYC Department of Sanitation

Say goodbye to New York City’s old green wire mesh trash cans and say hello to a new, shiny litter bin ready for a rat-free future. The city’s Department of Sanitation this week started replacing the iconic green bins with modernized cans made up of three parts: a concrete base to prevent it from falling over, a hinged metal lid, and a removable, lightweight plastic basket for sanitation workers to empty, according to the New York Times. The new bins fix a fundamental flaw in the dated wire mesh design: holes for rats to get inside.

The city will replace the green mesh trash cans with a new modern version designed to keep rats out. Photo by Tim Krause on Flickr.

The city will eventually replace all 22,000 trash cans currently found across the five boroughs with the modern version. Just 300 new bins will be installed during the first phase, with another 1,000 in the works.

The new, sleek bin was created during a 2018 city-wide design competition but plans to install them across the city never materialized, likely due to the pandemic, the end of former Mayor Bill De Blasio’s term, and the start of Mayor Eric Adams’ administration, according to the Times.

Since the design was selected in 2019, the Department of Sanitation has made a few adjustments. The updated design features a bigger basket, graffiti-resistant paint, and the raising of perforations along the trash can to deter rats from trying to get in.

In addition to a lighter, rat-resistant design, the new bins are easier to store and transport, Greg Anderson, DOT deputy commissioner for policy and strategic initiatives told the Times. While only 30 of the old green bins could fit in a truck at one time, the new ones are stackable, allowing for 120 to be carried on trucks at a time.

The new trash bins are part of an ongoing effort to clean up the city, including the launch of a pilot program for containerized trash bins, a mandatory compost program, and the newly hired “rat czar.”

The containerized bins finally hit the streets of Harlem on Wednesday, according to the Curious Uptowner. First announced in April, the primary goal of the massive, wheeled dumpsters is to prevent large piles of trash from sitting on sidewalks and attracting hordes of rodents.

In August, some new containers were installed in front of P.S./I.S. 210 on West 152nd Street between Amsterdam Avenue and Broadway. Since then, smaller rows of containerized bins have been set up for residents along the same street.


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