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New York’s viral new trash cans are the result of a $4 million project involving consultancy giant McKinsey

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New York’s viral new trash cans are the result of a  million project involving consultancy giant McKinsey

New York’s much-discussed new trash cans were recommended to the city as part of a $4 million project involving consulting giant McKinsey

Video of the launch, which saw Adams wheeling a bin onto the street while Jay-Z and Alicia Keys’ “Empire State of Mind” played, quickly went viral, drawing memes and ridicule from citizens of cities that have had similar bins for decades.

Under the new rules, which come into force on November 12, 2024, all properties with one to nine residential units will be required by law to use one of the latch-lidded waste collectors, now available to purchase online from $46.

The newly introduced requirement seeks to minimize the number of sidewalk rats. It isn’t known exactly how many rats are in NYC, but a 2014 study suggested there were around two million, and a pest control firm in 2023 estimated there were close to three million rats in NYC.

Adams said the program was part of his administration’s “Trash Revolution,” which aims to clean up the city’s streets. Officials estimate New Yorkers produce around 14 billion pounds of trash each year. But with the new rule directed at removing about 70% of this, curbside garbage piles are hoped to become a problem of the past.

Plans for the new bins are partly down to consulting giant McKinsey & Company, which was drafted in to help the city assess how to contain its waste. A Sanitation Department official told New York Streetsblog at the time that the project was worth around $4 million.

According to a 2022 New York Times article, McKinsey spent 20 weeks working with the Sanitation Department to determine what sort of bins would suit different streetscapes, what they should look like, and which vendors to use.

The goal was to design a program capable of combating New York’s decades-long garbage problem, looking at waste collection methods used in urban areas around the world and focusing on containerization — or, in simple terms, putting trash bags in bins rather than on the street.

The solution decided upon is similar to systems already used in cities like Barcelona, where fleets of colored, uniform bins are often found on residential blocks.

The bin project is far from the firm’s first consultation in New York. The Office of the New York State Comptroller shows that McKinsey has worked on at least 10 other projects with the state.

McKinsey declined to comment when contacted by Business Insider.

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