Many New Yorkers will have to wait until 8 p.m. to put their trash out on the street under a new proposal from the Adams administration, in a bid to reduce the amount of time the city’s mountains of garbage bags languish on the street before pickup.

“We're asking New Yorkers to set out their trash later in the day, and we are coming to collect more of it earlier,” said Sanitation Department Commissioner Jessica Tisch at a press conference outside City Hall Monday. “And those two things come together to shrink the amount of time dramatically that an average trash bag will spend on the streets and should really significantly impact New Yorkers’ experience of city streets.”

The mountains of trash bags on city streets, which invite vermin, is hurting the city’s economic recovery from the pandemic, Mayor Eric Adams said at the Monday press conference.

The proposal, which would require approval from the City Council, would allow residents to put out trash in containers with lids starting at 6 p.m. but bagged trash will not be allowed until 8 p.m. – four hours later than the current policy allowing trash to be set out at 4 p.m.

The policy also carves out an exemption for large residential buildings with 9 or more units, which can apply to have their garbage picked up very early in the morning between 4 a.m. and 7 a.m.

Businesses, which have their garbage collected by commercial carting services, may also have their waste on the street an hour before their closing time, as long as the garbage bags are secured inside containers with lids.

The later hours, first reported by Politico, would bring New York in line with the collection practices of many other major cities. Later trash times, when streets and sidewalks are emptier, will theoretically limit the hours that mountains of black bags line the roads and walkways. Tisch said the city now collects 25 percent of residential trash during the sanitation department’s midnight shift, which also helps reduce the daytime presence of garbage-bag mountains.

“It made no sense that these garbage bags have remained on the street for such a long period of time,” Adams said at the press conference. “They have become open season for rodents going into these bags, creating a real health problem in our city.”

If passed by the Council, the new policy will go into effect April 1, 2023 – giving the Sanitation Department adequate time to draw new pickup routes and schedules.

Amending the change in pickup times required the buy-in of unions including Teamsters Local 831, the union representing sanitation workers. Politico reported that the move comes after months of negotiations with 32BJ SEIU, the powerful building workers union that backed Adams’ mayoral bid but has tussled with the administration over some trash reforms. The city agreed to give larger buildings the option to set their trash out between 4 a.m. and 7 a.m. — a concession that helped gain the union’s buy-in.

The new policy was introduced in a bill by Council member Shaun Abreu with a public hearing scheduled for November 10th.

The new time-frame coincides with a larger push to cut back on trash on city streets, including a pilot program to install container bins to hold garbage bags. Earlier this month, the city awarded McKinsey & Company consulting firm a $4 million contract to examine the implementation of a citywide container bin pilot program.

“You don't want containerization to go wrong. It's going to get done in New York City,” Tisch said. “But we have to study it, we have to have a plan and we have to make sure that it works, because the stakes are too high to get it wrong.”

Enforcement will be handled just like other sanitation policy infractions, with education and intervention first. Tickets for violations may eventually start at $50, Tisch said.

“We know that it's going to take time for New Yorkers to get used to this. I mean, this is a really big change that affects almost all 9 million New Yorkers,” she said. “We don't want to be punitive about it at first, which is why we're going to take some time before it rolls in, kicks in. But we are prepared to enforce it when the time is right.”

David Giambusso contributed reporting. This story has been updated with additional information.