Home Events + News Hoboken Now Requiring Garbage Cans to Have a Lid

Hoboken Now Requiring Garbage Cans to Have a Lid

by Danielle Farina
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In the past few months, rats have been making headlines here in Hoboken. Silly as it may sound, rodent presence in the Mile Square has noticeably increased, and as residents express their frustration and concerns, the City is taking action to mitigate rat activity. A few months ago, Councilwoman Tiffanie Fisher recruited the R.A.T.S. crew from New York who released their trained terriers to hunt and kill rogue rats. Now, the City has launched a garbage compartmentalization program, which took effect Thursday, August 24th. The program prohibits trash at the curb without containerized garbage cans for all properties with 10 or fewer units and all properties with 10 or more units that don’t have space constraints. In layman’s terms, the City is now requiring all trash cans to have a lid.  This past Monday, the City started providing residents with new trash cans that are in compliance with the new rat abatement-related trash containerization regulations. Read on for what we know about the City’s new garbage compartmentalization program, which is in effect now.

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The Details

In a press release sent out Thursday, August 24th, the City of Hoboken announced its “updated garbage containerization ordinance, which mandates that properties, including businesses, place their garbage at the curb in a container with a tight-fitting lid during collection times.” The ordinance, according to the press release, “aims to reduce rodent activity by limiting a rodent’s access to food from trash.” 

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As far as the requirements, the press release stated that “properties with more than 10 units are required to utilize containerized garbage bins with tight-fitting lids unless there are space constraints that prevent the landlord or property owner from doing so.” Additionally, “disposable garbage bags must be used with rodent repellent and be at least 1.1 mils thick, or if the garbage bags do not have rodent repellent, the bags must be at least 3 mils thick. If these bags are utilized, the garbage must be stored indoors between collections.” 

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Properties that have 10 or fewer units “must also abide by the new law and leave their garbage at the curb for pickup in containers with a tight-fitting lid during collection.” The press release clarified that properties with unique space constraints that do not permit the utilization of a container with tight-fitting lid can apply for a one-year exemption here.


Although the ordinance is now effective — as of Thursday, August 24th — the City is granting a “30-day grace period to educate the public on the new citywide regulation. Following the grace period, properties in violation of the ordinance could be subject to fines of up to $1,000.” 

In terms of acquiring these new garbage cans, “The City has purchased over 3,000 containers for limited distribution to help property owners comply with the updated ordinance and awaits their delivery.” On Monday, September 24th, the City allowed residents to pick up a new trash can from the City that are in compliance with the new rat abatement-related trash containerization regulations. Residents can pick up the trash cans at the Multi-Service Center, located at 124 Grand Street.

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A spokesperson for the City of Hoboken shared with The Hoboken Girl: “residents do not need to purchase new trash cans or use a city can. If they already have a garbage container with a lid, that container could be used for collection and is compliant with the updated ordinance.” The spokesperson clarified, “to help assist those without a container that has a lid, the City purchased over 3,000 ordinance compliant containers and the City will announce the distribution process for these containers once the full shipment has been received in the coming weeks.”

In addition to these new regulations, trash must be placed at the curb at 7:30PM in residential areas and after 9PM in limited business areas. Trash containers must not weigh more than 50 pounds, and if trash exceeds that weight, it may be left on the curb, at which the property owner is responsible for storing it indoors, according to the City’s press release.

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To learn more about the garbage containerization, click here. You can also find Hoboken’s waste collection schedule here, as well as information about recycling collecting (which will proceed as normal) here.

In addition to the containerization ordinance, the press release also shared that on September 6th, “the Hoboken City Council will consider the administration’s ordinance on final reading which aims to limit rodents’ access to food from outdoor dining. ” Read more about the proposed ordinance here.

On October 4th, a proposal from Councilmember Jen Giattino was introduced at the City Council meeting — one that would eliminate popular parklets and streeteries as a way to mitigate the city’s rat issues. Per NJ.com, she says that the proposal would help mitigate rat issues and help solve the city’s parking crunch because these streeteries take away parking spaces.

In the spirit of rodent updates, here’s a friendly reminder that we have a complete guide for handling a rodent infestation in your home (a light read, naturally). Check out HG‘s rat survival guide here.

As always, be sure to follow @thehobokengirl on Instagram and TikTok for the latest Hoboken + Jersey City happenings.

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