NYC Dept. of Sanitation Declares September 7 as 'Gray's Papaya Day'

Gray's Papaya routinely gets props for the food it serves, and now they're getting props from the NYC Department of Sanitation for their trash.

This week DSNY officials posted a tweet proclaiming September 7 "Gray's Papaya Day" at the Department for following the new rules on trash collection and pick-up.

Jessica Tisch, Commissioner of the NYC Department of Sanitation says they are "celebrating the businesses, many of them mom-and-pop shops that are complying with the rules and have changed the way that they set out their trash."

As of August 1, all food-related businesses in New York City must put their trash in bins with a lid. This is a replacement for the black bags at the curb that were a mainstay for decades.

Chain businesses those with 5 or more locations in the city were added to the mix on September 5.

The move is one of the most aggressive actions aimed at combating the city's rat problem.

"We know that those black bags of trash contain a lot of human food and human food is also rat food. So getting that rat food off of the streets and into containers with secure lids is the best rat-fighting strategy that we have," Tish said.

But the Department is also using social media to call out what it says are bad apples. Case in point, the Ralph Lauren flagship store on the UES.

DSNY pointed out that the retailer must now use containers for trash and in an apparent second break of the new rules, the store placed the bagged trash out way too early.

Ralph Lauren gave us this statement in response to the tweet: "This issue is now resolved. We have addressed this directly with all of our NYC stores and will ensure compliance with the new container mandate. We apologize for any inconvenience this caused for the Department of Sanitation."

Sanitation officials have written more than 22,000 warnings and in another tweet point out they are "serious."

Fines for non-compliance are $50 for the first, $100 for the second, and $200 for all subsequent offenses.