urban fauna

Rat Dinnertime May Be Pushed Back by 4 Hours

Photo: Alexi Rosenfeld/Getty Images

Here comes some minorly bad news for rats. In the next salvo of the rat war, the New York Post reported that Eric Adams, along with DSNY commissioner Jessica Tisch, is pushing for trash to be put out after 8 p.m. instead of 4 p.m. The idea is that trash will be stinking up our streets for a shorter amount of time (four hours, to be exact) and DSNY will pick up more garbage on the midnight shift. In response, rats will have to shift their dinner hours to accommodate the change. (Their schedules are very flexible.)

Tisch has been pitching the idea to delay rat dinnertime to different business interests around the city, including a meeting with the Real Estate Board of New York. But the process to change the rule — which, again, is to still put trash bags out on our streets, but just four hours later — could take up to six months. DSNY spokesperson Joshua Goodman told the Post that having trash out all evening creates a “nightclub” for rats. “Well, soon, we’re going to try to shut the club down.” Or delay the rat nightclub’s usual opening by four hours.

The later garbage-collection hours could create problems for businesses that close early and residential buildings without the staff capacity to put trash out in the evening hours. The rats, again, will likely have the manpower to make things work on their end.

Over the past years, the city has slow-walked the thing that would actually shut rat nightclubs down — putting garbage bags in containers. A few pilot bins were finally put out in Times Square this spring, and some more are planned for the upcoming months. (DSNY reached out to add that the proposal would allow for trash to be put out earlier — 6 p.m. for residential trash and an hour before businesses close for commercial trash — if it’s in a bin.) In the meantime, rats beware — your dinner may be delayed in around six months for about four hours. Start planning accordingly.

This piece has been updated.

Rat Dinnertime May Be Pushed Back by 4 Hours