Newly-proposed solution to NYC's rat problem leaves restaurants concerned

A new proposal from the NYC Sanitation Department is looking to help curb the city's major rat problem. 

On Thursday, the department put forward a proposed rule that would require businesses that produce a substantial amount of food waste to put their trash and their compostable material in bins.

"Human food is also rat food, and we need to get the food out of the black bags that sat on the curbs. And we need to put them in rat-proof containers," says Jessica Tisch, the NYC sanitation commissioner.

Meanwhile, Andrew Rigie, the executive director of the NYC Hospitality Alliance, says he is concerned about how the changes will impact restaurant businesses, as the eateries which currently go through a private carter for trash collection would be responsible for obtaining the bins.

"If a small restaurant can't fit big, dirty trash containers inside the restaurant, the rule says they're going to have to place them right in front of the restaurant. Which means they're not going to be able to have their sidewalk cafe," Rigie said.

The new rules will also apply to bodegas, delis, grocery stores, and hotels.  

"Just thinking about it initially is a little challenging," added Peter Kasimas, the owner of Green Kitchen. "The question then is, 'Does every restaurant have the space for bins? Do the bins come in and out?' Because then that's more manpower.  We will try our best to be compliant no matter what the change is, but it's just there are kind of restrictions from a logistical standpoint."

There will be a public meeting in June in order to consider feedback, so the earliest the plan could go into effect is sometime in July. 

"We just don't think what's being proposed is the solution that's going to work on all these different blocks throughout the five boroughs," added Rigie. "I just don't think people want to see thousands of trash cans scattered across the sidewalks"

The move is not supposed to impact parking spaces.