New York City unveiled a new type of garbage truck on Thursday, which Mayor Eric Adams said is crucial to his administration’s efforts to get mountains of trash bags off city sidewalks.
The side of the new truck is fitted with a mechanical lift designed to pick up and empty garbage containers. The equipment represents the latest step in Adams’ push to require most garbage to be put out for collection in bins, which officials say will cut off a key food source for the city’s rats.
Sanitation workers currently haul trash bags off sidewalks and into the backs of garbage trucks. But to collect and empty larger trash bins, the city needs trucks with side-loaders, according to a report the sanitation department published last year.
“This will make a big difference in some of our biggest neighborhoods, tackling the mountains of black bags at the source,” Adams said at a news conference debuting the new truck.
The side-loading truck is currently the only such truck in the sanitation department’s fleet. Sanitation officials said they plan to order more of the trucks as they work to containerize the city’s trash.
The new truck will be used to collect trash in an area of Upper Manhattan where the city is running a pilot program that requires residents to throw their garbage into shared containers on the street.
Officials said the container pilot will expand to every building in Manhattan Community Board 9, which spans the West Side from 110th to 155th streets, in spring 2025.
Starting this fall, landlords of buildings with fewer than 10 apartments will be required to put all of their residential trash out on the sidewalk in containers, effectively banning trash piles. Those landlords will be required to purchase a standardized wheeled trash bin by summer 2026, according to officials.
“New York City, which used to be known as ‘mean streets,’ will be classified as ‘clean streets,’” Adams said. “We are going to be the cleanest and safest big city in America.”