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First Look: Large Shared Trash Containers Arrive in Harlem as Part of a City Pilot

Updated: Sep 21, 2023

Large Shared Trash Containers Arrive in Harlem as Part of a City Pilot
New shared trash containers for residents on 152nd Street.

New large shared trash containers have arrived in Harlem.

The Department of Sanitation has begun installing the rat-proof waste bins, part of a city pilot announced in April, on around 11 residential blocks and 14 public schools around Manhattan Community Board 9 this fall.

The goal of the wheeled dumpsters is to prevent garbage from piling up on sidewalks—tasty magnets for rats.

Some of the first new containers were placed in front of P.S./I.S. 210 on W 152nd Street between Amsterdam Avenue and Broadway in August. Used exclusively by the school, they include three for trash; one for metal, glass, and plastic; two for paper and cardboard; and two for compost.

Since then shorter rows of shared trash containers—five sets containing two or three bins—have been installed for residents along the same street. The residential pilot area will eventually stretch from W 153rd to 142nd Streets between Broadway and Amsterdam Avenue in Hamilton Heights.

NYC's Curbside Trash Containers Have Arrived in Harlem
A row of curbside trash containers in front of P.S./I.S. 210 on W 152nd St

Each rodent-proof bin is 8 feet long, kept in place by a U-shaped yellow barrier bolted to the street. Sanitation trucks will collect trash from the containers six days a week.

Notices from the Department of Sanitation posted on the streets with the containers include some basic information about the bins, but virtual training sessions are also taking place in September (two more remain on the 19th and 28th) at

Notices posted on the streets getting the bins.

The city had said four shared containers would take up about 1.6 parking spaces, but local resident Jeremy Kushnier estimates the eight containers have gobbled up five parking spaces.

A vocal critic on Instagram, Kushnier is also concerned about how effectively street cleaners will sweep around the plastic dumpsters, calling them "a bandaid on a bullet wound."

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