The city announced its latest policy to maintain clean streets and dispel rats on Monday, declaring that hundreds of schools in the Bronx will now receive compostable collection five nights a week.
According to a press release from the city Department of Sanitation (DSNY), 325 city Department of Education (DOE) schools in the Bronx have been trained on proper refuse separation and will receive the daily weekday service for compost — which the department claims will result in less rat food each night, as well as cleaner streets and cleaner air.
“Just like with recycling decades ago, young people are our best ambassadors for composting,” said DSNY Commissioner Jessica Tisch. “They see the difference it makes to compost at school, and they tell their parents and those close to them. We are proud to be working with our partners at (the Department of Education) to raise the next generation of advocates for clean streets, and to be serving the people of the Bronx.”
David Banks, the DOE chancellor, said he encourages the push for more sustainability in schools.
“Alongside these efforts, we have a responsibility as a city to ensure that compostable material is properly disposed of to keep our streets clean,” Banks said. “I applaud DSNY for taking this step and look forward to working with all of NYC Public Schools’ agency partners in the push for a more sustainable city and the fight against rats.”
It’s the latest rollout in Mayor Eric Adams’ crusade to make the city rodent-free.
Last October he announced a plan to shorten the time frame New Yorkers could leave their trash out in an effort to cut down on hours rats could feast on sidewalk nastiness — or what Tisch said was more of an “all-night, all-you-can-eat rat buffet.”
Adams designated 8 p.m. — what was previously 4 p.m. — as the new standard time residential and commercial building tenants could curb their trash. There are a few exceptions, however, including taking the trash out between 4 a.m. and 7 a.m. and placing garbage in a lidded-container as early as 6 p.m.
Adams said during the announcement that the vermin have no place in New York City.
“Everyone that knows me, they know one thing: I hate rats,” Adams said back in October. “When we started killing them in Borough Hall, you know, some of the same folks that are criticizing us now were calling me a murderer because I was killing rats. Well, you know what, we’re gonna kill rats.”
The internet had a field day with that iconic October press conference, where Tisch’s soundbite — “The rats are absolutely going to hate this announcement. But the rats don’t run this city, we do.” — went viral on TikTok, and other quotes from both herself and the mayor have been referenced and poked fun at on Twitter and elsewhere. DSNY also dropped new merch last fall declaring a citywide war on rats.
The new Bronx schools set for daily weekday service are part of the total 1,211 schools across the city implementing composting pickup. Another 533 schools, mostly in Queens and Brooklyn, will receive the service starting in the 2023-2024 school year.
Reach Camille Botello at [email protected] or (718) 260-2535. For more coverage, follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram @bronxtimes