big belly garbage can

The Columbus Avenue Business Improvement District has donated 19 Big Belly garbage receptacles to Theodore Roosevelt Park to help the city Parks Department get a handle on the rat problem there. The park between 77th and 81st street has been infested with rats in recent years.

We got this email a couple of years ago:

“I was walking my dog last evening through the park around The Museum of Natural History about 7:45. I entered off Columbus and 79th Street. There were rats everywhere. Jumping in and out of garbage pails, I saw three dive into one pail. They were running back and forth across the walkway and when you looked on the lawns they were all running helter skelter.”

BID Executive Director Barbara Adler said the donation “will make this park first one in the city to solve its rat problem by starving them out.”

The BID raised the $84,000 for the receptacles at its “Soiree in the Park” event as part of the food festival New Taste of the Upper West Side. The Soiree was discontinued this year, but the BID plans to continue donating to Teddy Roosevelt Park. To get tickets to New Taste events on June 3 and June 4, click here.

NEWS | 9 comments | permalink
    1. Zulu says:

      At first glance it appears to be a good idea to have these trash cans. Hopefully people will clean after themselves if they have a place to throw away what’s left of their delicious Shake Shack meal.

      One question, who is in charge of maintaining them and collecting the garbage?

      Also, messy patrons of Shake Shack are not the only culprits for inadvertently feeding the rats. The weekend farmers market also leaves a good amount of waste behind from which rats like to feast.

      • Sean says:

        These people should be required to take their trash with them. This isn’t a theme park.

        • Zulu says:

          100% agree with you. Unfortunately, unless there is a change in culture people will continue to litter.

      • Rat A. Tooey says:

        ‘zackly wot I always sez!

        Dem Shake Shack types are real slobs, which me and me bruvvers kinda like, altho da food dey leave over ain’t real good fer us.

        Speakin’ of da Big-Belly garbage cans, you should see da bellies on some of dem Shake Shack Slobs! Don’ dey got mirrors in dere houses?

        But wot we really like is dat Farmers’ thing on weekends. MUCH better food, and a much more classy crowd! Some good-lookin chicas, too!

    2. Heather H says:

      These are wonderful. I did some research on these Big Belly units. They self compact the trash and can hold a lot more garbage then traditional cans. Also they are solar powered and sends text alerts when a unit needs its trash removed.

      I think they are a great addition to the park!

    3. S Naval says:

      Question: if the rats get into the pails, can they get out?

    4. Eric says:

      When I first noticed these popping up around town, I thought the purpose was to prevent humans from scavenging in the trash cans.

    5. David Mayer says:

      These are great, but there are traditional, rat-friendly (and raccoon friendly) trash cans just feet away at the street corners.

      • Rat A. Tooey says:

        About yer “there are traditional, rat-friendly (and raccoon friendly) trash cans”

        YES-S-S-S-S-s-s-s-s !!!

        and let’s keep dem dere !!!