What are the requirements for garbage containerization?

On Aug. 23, 2023, the Hoboken City Council adopted an updated ordinance, proposed by the administration, to containerize garbage to help reduce rodent access to food sources from trash.

Per the ordinance, which takes effect on Aug. 24, 2023, all residential or mixed-use properties with 10 or fewer units are required to store trash in containers with a tight-fitting lid when at the curb for collection and while stored between collections. Additionally, properties with greater than 10 units are also 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. In this case, disposable garbage bags must be used with rodent repellent and 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 plastic bags are utilized, the garbage must be stored indoors between collections.

Please note a full garbage container must not weigh more than 50 pounds per the City's contract with Cali Carting, as garbage hauler employees manually lift trash. As such, Cali Carting strongly recommends that all new garbage containers be no larger than 32 gallons and no smaller than 10 gallons to help keep trash below the weight limit.  

Specifications of new containerized garbage cans:

  • Constructed of material capable of holding garbage without leakage or spillage 
  • Weigh less than 50 pounds when full 
  • Tightly-fitted lids connected to the container 
  • House or lot number displayed at least six inches tall 

Please note, the ordinance does not require property owners use a new container. The ordinance requires that tightly lidded containers that are already required for outdoor storage in between collections, be placed to the curb, lidded, on garbage night instead of in garbage bags. If property owners have lidded containers to store garbage between collections, they can continue to use them.

Exemption Requests

On Aug. 24, 2023, the City launched an online form for property owners and registered agents to apply for a 1-year exemption due to space constraints at https://hoboken.seamlessdocs.com/f/containerization_exemption.

The property owner or registered agent must provide a brief narrative explaining their unique space constraints, up to three photographs depicting the constraints, as well as a copy of the property deed or management contract.  

Tenant applications will not be accepted.  

If approved, the property will be required to utilize disposable garbage bags with rodent repellent 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. The garbage must be stored indoors between collections.

The property will have 1 year to remedy the space constraints and come into compliance with the ordinance.

Regulations apply to businesses

All businesses, including food and beverage establishments, including those within Hoboken’s business districts located in properties with 10 or fewer units, will also be required to abide by the new containerized garbage regulations, if adopted. Food establishments can utilize covered storage bins but should contact recycling@hobokennj.gov to ensure that the bin will fit within the boundaries of the property and the City’s garbage contractor will pick up the garbage from the bin.

Regulations do NOT apply for recycling

This ordinance does not include recycling and recycling will continue to be collected as usual.

Comingled recycling should continue to be placed curbside in a recycling bin, unbagged, or in a clear plastic bag where a container can't be used.

For more information on recycling, please go to www.hobokennj.gov/resources/recycling.

Miscellaneous and oversized items

Miscellaneous items (ex.: dresser, lamp, storage bin, pictures, tv) that were previously accepted by the City’s waste management company will still be accepted if they are not in a container. Food waste must always be put in a compliant container or garbage bag.

FAQ on managing rodents in Hoboken

For more detailed information on the City of Hoboken's rodent mitigation initiatives and how property owners can contribute, please visit www.hobokennj.gov/faqs/how-can-we-mitigate-rodents-in-hoboken.   

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