Taking the Trash off New York City’s Streets
New York City is legendary for its hustle, glamor, and grandeur. But if you've walked its streets on a warm summer evening, you might be familiar with another, less flattering element of its character – a veritable mountain scape of trash bags. Mountains of trash bags lining the city's sidewalks have become an unwelcome, unsightly, and smelly signature of the city that never sleeps. This problem, examined in new Manhattan Institute report, might soon be blown away through an ingenious combination of technology and urban planning.
NYC's current trash troubles date back to the late 1980s, when the city banned building-incinerated trash and shifted to leaving bagged trash on the sidewalks. In an attempt to mitigate this problem, the Clean Curbs program was introduced in 2020 to contain the trash within covered, rodent-proof containers. The result, while an improvement, was less than perfect due to the containers' mechanical issues and capacity limitations.
Arpit Gupta is an adjunct fellow at the Manhattan Institute and an assistant professor of finance at the NYU Stern School of Business. You can follow him on Twitter here. Based on a recent issue brief.
Photo by donvictorio/iStock