NEW YORK—It's a rather straightforward proposal: the City would allow companies to advertise on the sides of city-owned trash receptacles, and the ad revenue will go toward buying and replacing trash cans.
Council member David Yassky of Brooklyn announced his request to the Department of Sanitation for the development of such a plan on Sunday.
Each year, the City spends over $1 million on about 9,000 new and replacement trash cans. Yassky said that a preliminary survey of advertisers suggests that the City could be making $2.5 million in ad revenues from those trashcans to cover that cost while making an additional $1.4 million.
“Years ago, we didn't face such a budget crunch,” Yassky said. “Now we're cutting vital services, so every dollar counts.”
The proposal is to have the Department of Sanitation bid out an annual flat rate contract for advertising rights. Then, the Department will solicit proposals from advertisers. Under the proposal, in two to three years all of the city's 25,000 trash cans would bear ads.
Currently, city legislation prohibits advertising on city property not deemed “street furniture,” which includes bus shelters and benches. Yassky said he would be willing to introduce legislation to allow advertising on city trashcans.
“New York City has had tremendous success selling ad space on other public property, including bus shelters, subways and taxis,” Yassky wrote in his request letter to the Department of Sanitation. “For this reason, is seems to me that trash cans should not be a exception, especially when it appears the City could gain financially from including them.”