Who runs this city?
The New York City Sanitation Department (DSNY) is hoping a viral TikTok phrase will help ignite the war on rats and rodents spreading throughout the city with the release of a new t-shirt that reads, “The rats don’t run this city – we do.”
The t-shirt campaign comes after Mayor Eric Adams and Sanitation Commissioner Jessica Tisch announced reduced hours that trash will sit on sidewalks and streets before pickup to combat the city’s rodent problem.
“The rats are absolutely going to hate this t-shirt, just as much as they hate the steps we’re taking to shut down their all-night, all-you-can-eat buffet,” Commissioner Tisch said on Nov. 29. “The rats have gotten too comfortable for too long — almost as comfortable as these all-cotton t-shirts — until now.”
New York City currently has the earliest trash set-out time in the country at 4 p.m. Under the recently proposed rules, trash will be allowed out at 6 p.m. in a secure rat-resistant bin, or 8 p.m. on the curb.
The new shirts were designed by Brooklynite and Sanitation worker Sebastian Mejias, who currently serves on Brooklyn’s Community Board 5. Mejias’ shirt design is being made and released in partnership with Only NY, a Big Apple-based clothing brand.
“Working in partnership with DSNY since 2015, Only NY has prided itself on supporting the efforts of New York’s Strongest,” Only NY said in a statement. “Pairing a PSA graphic with a crucial initiative, proceeds from the sale of the Only NY x DSNY The Rats Don’t Run This City T-Shirt will benefit the City of New York.”
New Yorkers can pre-order the shirts until Dec. 4, with deliveries expected in time for the holidays.
For more information on how to prevent the spread of rats visit DSNY’s website here.