New York City unveiled the prototype for a new garbage truck on Thursday, but it seemed like Mayor Eric Adams was opening a new subway line by the way he arrived at the press conference. I have a fair bit of municipal pride, but it was ridiculous. The unpopular elected official made an unusual entrance hopping out of the new truck to his self-selected theme song, “Empire State of Mind” by Jay-Z and Alicia Keys.
Is the prototype truck even worthy of the awkward politician pomp and circumstance? According to the New York Times, it’s a European-style automated side-loading garbage truck. City officials have been working with experts in Turin, Italy to help America’s largest city say “Ciao!” to its never-ending trash problem. Adams said:
“The new garbage truck we’re unveiling today — four years ahead of schedule — represents the future of New York City garbage collection. It means we’ll be able to containerise trash from our large residential buildings, something people didn’t believe would be possible in our dense city.”
However, this new truck will require a significant transformation of the city’s streets. Up to 68,000 parking spots will be eliminated so compatible containers can be accessible for the automated lift. The demonstration at the unveiling had the prototype lifting a container to the mayor’s theme. “These lights will inspire you,” belted Alicia Keys over the speakers as the bin went over the top. And yes, everyone in the city will eventually need to use approved containers by either buying their own wheelie bins or using larger stationary city-installed bins.
The initiative’s ultimate objective is to end New York’s rat problem. Discouraging people from dumping black plastic bags on the curb for rodents to gnaw has been a good move, but Mayor Adams is overestimating how excited the city’s residents are to deal with new bins. It won’t be the first time the former police captain has been aggressively out of touch. The Mayor suggested handing out AirTags to stop the ‘Kia Boyz’ car theft spree. I just hope the Italian government didn’t pay him to do this.
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