NYC Sanitation Partners with Only NY to Release T-Shirt Celebrating Latest Front in the War on Rats

New York City Sanitization Department has partnered with Only NY to create a t-shirt adorning the viral phrase "The rats don't run this city, we do."

December 1, 2022

3 Min Read

Ever since this fall’s major announcement about the latest efforts to take back our streets from the Murine Menace, one phrase has been on every New Yorker’s lips: “the rats don’t run this City – we do.”

The defiant statement from Sanitation Commissioner Jessica Tisch captured the way every New Yorker feels about our streets: that they belong to us. Now, ahead of the holiday season, New Yorkers can pre-order an exclusive Only NY t-shirt bearing the iconic phrase, which has gone viral on TikTok, Instagram, and in media around the world.

Designed by Sanitation Worker Sebastian Mejias, who currently serves the people of Brooklyn Community Board 5, the t-shirt is available for pre-order until Sunday, December 4th, with deliveries expected in time for the holidays by Friday, December 23.

“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, referring to DSNY’s multipronged effort to get the rat food out of the black garbage bags and to get the bags off the street for more hours of the day. “The rats have gotten too comfortable for too long – almost as comfortable as these all-cotton t-shirts – until now.”

“Working in partnership with DSNY since 2015, Only NY has prided itself on supporting the efforts of New York’s Strongest. 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,” Only NY said in a statement.

The announcement in October that so angered the rats concerns the amount of time piles of black garbage bags can sit on the streets. Currently, New York has the earliest set-out time in the country, 4pm. Under proposed rules, trash will be allowed out at 6pm in a secure rat-resistant bin, or 8pm on the curb, drastically limiting availability of rat food. This announcement – and its rats-as-haters tagline – spoke to the collective subconscious of all New Yorkers.

To pre-order a shirt before December 4th, visit Only NY.

About the New York City Department of Sanitation

The Department of Sanitation (DSNY) keeps New York City clean, safe, and healthy by collecting, recycling and disposing of waste, cleaning streets and vacant lots, and clearing snow and ice. The Department operates 59 district garages and manages a fleet of more than 2,000 rear-loading collection trucks, 450 mechanical brooms and 705 salt spreaders. The Department clears litter, snow and ice from approximately 6,500 miles of City streets and removes debris from vacant lots as well as abandoned vehicles from City streets. The Department runs a portfolio of programs and facilities to help New Yorkers more sustainably manage waste.

About Only NY

Only NY is an independent clothing brand driven and inspired by the City, Outdoors, and Arts. Founded in 2007, Only NY has organically grown into a globally established brand offering a wide range of street, sport, and outdoor apparel and accessories.

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