October 17, 2022
Commissioner Jessica Tisch, Department of Sanitation: Good afternoon, and thank you for being here. It is an exciting day because we are about to do something that no one has had the political will or political capital to pull off over the past 50 years. Most mayors never attempted it. Those that did failed. For more, I'd like to welcome the get stuff done mayor, Eric Adams.
Mayor Eric Adams: Thank you. Thank you so much, commissioner. And you're right. It's unbelievable when you think about in 1968 when there was the garbage strike, we converted to plastic bags because of the overwhelming number of trash that was on our street because of the strike. And we converted to the plastic bag without doing a...
Hold on. Hold on. Nolan's a little late, so I want to make sure we allow him to come in. Good to see you, Nolan.
The trash, the conversion, we never did an assessment. We never looked at it. We allowed it to continue and this team is now doing a reexamination as we address the issue of rodents. Rodents are a real issue. The Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, they have the primary obligation, but every New Yorker and every agency must also contribute in fixing the problem. And that's what Commissioner Tisch has been able to accomplish with this amazing team of women leadership in City Hall.
My chief advisor, Ingrid Lewis-Martin, I want to thank you for the role you played of bringing together all the parties involved. Meera Joshi, our deputy mayor and our leader in the Department of Sanitation, DSNY, Commissioner Tisch. What many people don't realize, when you talk about this administration and this vision, you need to see who's actually carving out this vision and getting stuff done. I'm the recipient of breaking down these barriers, but these women from my five deputy mayors and the commissioners that are leading these agencies, this is a clear women agenda that is focusing on things that have been ignored for far too long. And they're real visionaries. And so just as a footnote, so when men pop up and state that we are asking them to carve out their agenda, I don't know where they are getting that from. These women are carving out the agenda of this city and we don't need folks to tell us how to get this done. And this is a primary example of it.
Mayors previously, that happened to have all been men, did not get this problem resolved. We did it and we got it resolved. And it's going to contribute to our overall battle of dealing with the rodent issue in this city. Fighting crime, fighting inequality, fighting rats is something that we are focused on as we continue to make this city a livable city. Everyone that knows me, they know one thing. I hate rats. When we started killing them in Borough Hall, some of the same folks are criticizing us now called me a murderer because I was killing rats. Well, you know what? We're going to kill rats. Rats have no place in this city and we're going to use every method that's needed to do so so they're not harming families and our quality of life.
Today, we are announcing a once in a generation change that would have a real impact on the cleanliness of our city. We are drastically reducing the amount of time that garbage will remain on our curb. We're shifting the time where people can set out black bags and trash from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. It made no sense that these garbage bags have remained on the street for such a long period of time. They have become open season for rodents going into these bags, creating a real health problem in our city. That's four hours fewer than previously. And you can set out your garbage at 6 p.m. if you use a container with a secure lid.
And we are going to continue to look at how to use containers more. How to really take garbage off our streets, it's such an antiquated method. When you look at what other countries are doing like Buenos Aires and others are realizing we have to put garbage in containers and not leave them out on the street the way we're doing now. This will reduce the amount of time the trash is on the street before collection, keeping our streets cleaner for a longer period of time and discouraging rodents from running their own version of what we like to say, Open Restaurants.
No more tripping over black bags during the rush hour. No more watching these bags litter our sidewalks earlier in the day. And it just doesn't make sense the way we have been doing this since 1969. Previous administrations have tried this, have not been able to bring all the parties to the table. But as I stated, our chief advisor, when I asked her to get on this with our deputy mayor and our commissioner, she did so. She brought the unions to the table, she brought all the entities together and we were able to get this done. So hats off to you, Ingrid, as well as Deputy Mayor Joshi, Sanitation Commissioner Jessica Tisch, and all those union partners that came to the table and said let's find a resolution. We got it done. We will continue to get it done, and we're not going to allow this plague of rats to destroy the quality of life in our city.
And so I really want to take my hat off to the entire team and how they executed this serious hurdle that has impacted the quality of life in the city and far more to do. We know, again, I use my river's analogy, there are many rivers that are feeding the sea of rodents in this city. And today we're damning one of them. Commissioner?
Commissioner Tisch: Thank you, Mayor Adams. To get this done we had a lot of stakeholders at the table, none of them shrinking violets. There was a lot going on at that table. Fortunately for our city, it was in Chief Advisor Ingrid Lewis-Martin's office and she ran those meetings with the grace, wisdom, and yes, sometimes muscle needed to deliver on the mayor's promise to clean up the city. Please welcome Chief Advisor Ingrid Lewis-Martin.
Ingrid Lewis-Martin, Chief Advisor to the Mayor: Thank you, Commissioner Tisch. Today's announcement shows just how much is possible when people work together. We were able to accomplish this new plan, which for many years had been unattainable, by bringing everyone and I mean everyone to the table. We demonstrated that we can support hard working New Yorkers and labor unions, and we can build a cleaner and more welcoming city for all New Yorkers. I take this opportunity to thank 32BJ for being stellar partners, the Sanitation Workers Union, REBNY — yes, REBNY, they were at the table — and our Council Member Abreu. Thank you.
Their partnership was crucial and essential and vital in order for us to deliver a win for millions of New Yorkers. So on behalf of all New Yorkers, I thank all of our partners for a job well done.
Commissioner Tisch: Hello everyone. I'm Jessie Tisch, Sanitation commissioner. Today we are doing one of the hardest things that you can do in city government. We're changing the status quo. For over 50 years when you ask someone to picture New York City streets, one image comes to mind. It's not the Empire State Building or the Statue of Liberty, but piles of black trash bags robbing us of clean and usable public space. Why have we tolerated this for so long? Over the last six months, the Department of Sanitation has reoriented itself around one goal, getting our streets cleaner faster. The biggest swing that you can take at cleaning up our streets is to shut down the all night, all-you-can-eat rat buffet. I want to be clear, the rats are absolutely going to hate this announcement. Let's get into some specifics, which under the proposed rule today, would take effect on April 1st.
No black bags of any kind, residential or commercial, on the streets before 8 p.m. If residents want to put their trash out earlier, they can do so starting at 6 p.m. but it must be in a container with a secure lid. And large buildings of nine or more units will have the ability to opt in once a year to an early morning set out time of 4 to 7 a.m. Right now, the situation for commercial trash is almost worse than for residential trash. The rule just says bags can go all over the sidewalks an hour before closing. Who even knows when closing time is anymore? So for commercial trash, we're keeping it simple. If you want to put your trash bags out before 8 p.m. you can continue to do so an hour before closing, but it's got to be in a container with a lid. Other cities around the world were way ahead of New York in solving these problems.
Thanks to the leadership of Mayor Adams and the willingness of stakeholders to come to the table under the proposed rule, we are not just catching up, we are surpassing them. That's because we at the Department of Sanitation are not just asking New Yorkers to change. We are changing too. We are doing way more collection on the midnight shift rather than the 6 a.m. shift. Approximately 25 percent of all of our collection now happens at midnight. And for the large buildings that opt into the 4 to 7 a.m. set outs, we will be designing tailored routes to get the trash off the street almost immediately.
The rats hate that too. And they also hate that we have been working holidays, that we have been using cameras to enforce against illegal dumping and that we have been seizing their food as part of the nation's largest curbside composting program. But the rats don't run this city, we do. Now, I'd like to bring up Council Member Shaun Abreu, who has been a terrific partner in our efforts to solve this ongoing crisis. I want to thank him so much for his advocacy and his leadership. Council member?
(Council Member Shaun Abreu speaks.)
Mayor Adams: Thank you. Thank you. Maybe some questions? The goal is to become the cleanest city in America and that's our focus and that's what we're pushing for. Open to just a few questions, Kate? How are you? How was your weekend?
Question: (Inaudible.) I know that Council Member Abreu talked about the mounds, the maze of garbage. (Inaudible) on the sidewalk as opposed to being on the curbside lane on the roadway. I know the commissioner has been talking about (inaudible). Give us an update on how that’s going.
Commissioner Tisch: Sure. So the containers we're talking about in this announcement, the 6 p.m. option, those are individualized containers. So containers that a resident would have at home and leave out. And we know that in lots of parts of the city, residents use these containers already. The larger initiative around city-sponsored containerization has two parts.
The first part is this Clean Curbs pilot that's been going on. We put our first containers in Times Square about six months ago and we've committed to doing a container pilot in every borough by the end of the calendar year. And we're well on pace to do that.
The second piece is really studying the larger major initiative of putting containers out in all parts of the city to fully containerize our trash. I just want to be clear that that is a really difficult thing to do. We are committed to doing it, but it is something that you absolutely must study thoroughly before you roll it out.
For example, cities that have rolled out containers, as you've mentioned, they do nightly collection of trash. How big would the containers have to be for us to roll out containerization on our collection schedule? All the vehicles would have to change. We would have to hoist the containers into the truck.
What about weatherization? What happens when it snows? How do people access the containers? You don't want containerization to go wrong. It's going to get done in New York City, but we have to study it. We have to have a plan and we have to make sure that it works, because the stakes are too high to get it wrong.
Question: On the announcement today, what is the capacity of DSNY to enforce this? Obviously it’s going to be something that’s being looked at throughout the city. How enforceable, in reality, is this?
Commissioner Tisch: So at DSNY we have a team of enforcement agents. We have both uniform and civilian enforcement agents and we also have just sanitation supervisors in our garages who do enforcement. Every day we have enforcement of sanitation rules going on across all five boroughs of the city. So it's something that we are prepared to enforce, just as we enforce other rules today, like sweeping 18 inches into the curb.
We know that it's going to take time for New Yorkers to get used to this. This is a really big change that affects almost all nine million New Yorkers. We don't want to be punitive about it at first, which is why we're going to take some time before it rolls and kicks in. But we are prepared to enforce it when the time is right.
Question: Given that this is time sensitive, are there any plans to beef up the enforcement (inaudible) of DSNY?
Commissioner Tisch: Actually this year, the enforcement, sanitation enforcement has increased dramatically over the past several years. Again, we don't like to enforce for the sake of enforcement, but most blocks wherever you look, there's a sanitation rule infraction. And so we are prepared to do what we have to do to enforce it.
I just also want to be clear that what we've done today is propose a new rule. So we're in the rulemaking process. We're going to have a public comment period and a hearing in about 30 days. And we don't expect the new rule to take effect until April 1st, so people will have a lot of notice about it.
Question: Does the specifically know how much the four hour difference will diminish the rat population? And was containerization discussed at the table with 32BJ?
Commissioner Tisch: I want to be clear that it's much more than a four hour difference. So today, black bags generally sit on the curb for more hours of the day than they do not. So they're out from 4:00 pm until collections start historically at 6 a.m. So they're out on the curb for 14 hours a day. What we are proposing to do here by shifting the time that bags can go out on the curb to 8 p.m., combined with our additional collection that we're doing on the midnight shift, is reduce that down to four hours. And that is taking a really, really big swing both at cleanliness of our streets and the rat issues.
Question: So that's the question I had (inaudible). So you're trying to cut down by the 75 percent the amount of time (inaudible)?
Commissioner Tisch: Yes, that's the whole point of this. That's why we're so excited today.
Commissioner Tisch: Over the past several months, we've been doing about 25 percent of our overall collection on the midnight shift. So if we collect 24 million pounds of trash and recycling every single day, 24 million pounds of trash and recycling sit on the curbs of New York City. And we're collecting a quarter of that now on the midnight shift rather than on the 6 a.m. shift.
Commissioner Tisch: This isn't about overtime, this is about two things happening. We are asking New Yorkers to set out their trash later in the day and we are coming to collect more of it earlier. And those two things come together to shrink the amount of time dramatically that an average trash bag will spend on the streets and should really significantly impact New Yorkers' experience of city streets.
Commissioner Tisch: No, this is not about about workforce, it's just about shifting times.
Commissioner Tisch: So maybe I wasn't clear. The beauty of this is that businesses will generally be working under the same time structure that they do today. So today they're allowed to set out commercial trash one hour before closing. The new rule for businesses says you can still set out trash one hour before closing. But if that time is before 8 p.m. you just need to set it out in a container.
Question: But then it's the trash is sitting on the (inaudible).
Commissioner Tisch: But it's in a container, the bags aren't sitting out on the street, and the rats can't get at it. And I should also add that most commercial trash is picked up on the overnight shift as well.
Commissioner Tisch: We are not changing the enforcement, the fine structure for this program, we are only shifting the times of day that the trash can be set out.
Question: So what is it?
Commissioner Tisch: It's $50 for the first.
Question: And then it escalates after that to $100?
Commissioner Tisch: I'm going to get back to you on the exact fine structure.
Question: Can you clarify? There's no extra cost to the city to shifting the hours?
Commissioner Tisch: That's right. This should be a net neutral budget rule for us.
Commissioner Tisch: In many parts of the city, if you take Staten Island for example, residents use containers when they set out their trash. So using containers is not something that is new to New York City. We felt strongly that 8 p.m. might be too late a time for some New Yorkers. Some New Yorkers might want to go to sleep and 8 p.m. doesn't work for them. So we felt strongly that we wanted to give an earlier option for people, and that option is 6 p.m. in a container.
Question: I'm talking about the waste baskets that are out there, (inaudible), and a lot of them are open.
Commissioner Tisch: Yeah. So those litter baskets are a separate topic. And actually, since July 1st when the mayor and the Council restored our funding for some of the cleanliness items that had been cut during the pandemic, we have seen a 60 percent reduction in complaints from New Yorkers about overflowing litter baskets. We are running the highest level of litter basket service this city has ever seen. And I'm really pleased that the data is proving out that that strategy works, largely because I promised the mayor that it would.
Question: So if you're picking up a quarter of the trash in the midnight shift now, how much of the trash is going to get picked up from the midnight shift now with the schedule?
Commissioner Tisch: Right now we don't have plans to increase above 25 percent. We've been piloting 25 percent. That's something that's new over the past three months or so and something that's been working. We wanted to be careful about it and careful to work with our workforce on it and also careful to make sure that it's not creating too much noise for New Yorkers, so it's something we're doing slowly and carefully, but we are shifting it up.
Question: For residents in the city (inaudible) in places like Staten Island (inaudible), what do you say?
Commissioner Tisch: Well, I know that the rat issue affects all five boroughs. Every neighborhood in the city has problems with rats. And so I say to them this should really help with the rat issue in their neighborhood. And as I mentioned before on Staten Island, you see massive use of containers already. So really all it's doing in Staten Island is shifting the time back two hours.
And I also just want to say New York City has the earliest set out time of any major domestic or international city. 4 p.m. is just like beyond the pale. It is so early compared to what other cities have done. I mentioned in my remarks that most cities over the past decade plus have innovated in this area, and New York City just never did. It was attempted once. It failed because it didn't have the political capital to get it done and not all the stakeholders agreed. So what's new here is we are catching up with what the rest of the world is doing and with our tailored routes for the 4 to 7 a.m. shift, we're actually surpassing them.
Question: Just wanted to follow up on (inaudible) question, was containerization talked about this negotiation? I know (inaudible) once a generation change. Will we have to wait another generation to have the container?
Commissioner Tisch: Oh no. No, certainly not. Containerization is something that we are studying right now and so we're doing a 20-week study of it. It started two weeks ago. So I have 18 more weeks for you to hear more from me about the results of that study. But doing that study could not be more important because getting containerization wrong is a really big problem.
Mayor Adams: Thank you, commissioner. So financial neutral, decreasing the amount of time trash is outside, accomplishing a task that others have tried and they were not able to accomplish.
Moving towards the direction of the city being the cleanest city in America, that's our goal. And this is not the only trash bin to accomplish that. So please don't go out and see a rat and say, "Okay, you guys failed." No, we have to do several things to change the mindset and the culture that comes with a dirty street. Dropping stuff on the ground, putting stuff in the subway stations and just eating and leaving food there, not putting it in the bin. We've done things these last few months such as what we're doing with recycling bins, what we're doing we're going after those who are dumping in our city, setting up cameras and operations. So there's a movement towards our goal of having New York City become the cleanest city in America and hats off to you, commissioner and your team, for making this happen. And we're going to continue to move towards that direction.
And what I'm surprised about is, number one, the number of cameras that tells me all of you are scared of rats too. And the number of questions you ask, this is front and center in all of our minds and we are approaching it head on. We are not going to sit back and accept that we have to be in a city where rodents are taking care of our city. We are meeting this head on and we are going to be willing to have a moonshot mindset of doing things differently as we approach this issue of a longstanding historical issue of dealing with rats.
And I spoke with my colleagues in Paris of the same problem there. Rats is an issue that we're facing based on the habits of human beings and so I want to answer some offtopics. So thank you. Again, hats off to all of you. Great job. Job well done. Good job, brother.
Question: So mayor, there was a police-involved shooting yesterday (inaudible). My colleague spoke with the family yesterday and they expressed frustration that (inaudible) NYPD (inaudible). I'm just wondering where you stand on that (inaudible).
Mayor Adams: Horrific case and my heart goes out to the family. Even when someone does something wrong, innocent family members are swept up on both ends of it. My heart goes out to the family members of the young man that's involved and my heart goes out to the police officers. No police officer wants to respond to an issue like that. It's traumatic, it's painful, and so it was just a wrong outcome to have to take the life of someone all the way around.
He was carrying a gun. He was carrying a gun. I heard the the tape. I saw the tape. Officers repeatedly stated, "Drop the gun, drop the gun, drop the gun." And when you run towards a gun and not away from it, it takes a special level of courage. And I'm happy that I have officers that are willing to put themselves in harm's way. We just had a class graduate today, a little over 600. So again, my heart goes out to the family and I'm sure the Police Department and agencies that are involved are going to reach out to those family members because it's traumatic to lose a loved one but he was carrying a gun. Guns are taking the lives of innocent people.
Question: Hi, Mr. Mayor.
Mayor Adams: How's it going?
Question: I'm looking for an update on the migrant crisis. Have you gotten any commitments from the federal government you can share with us or any (inaudible) state?
Mayor Adams: Well, it's not only about who is here but who is coming here. I was happy to see that the White House has taken the first steps about stopping the flow, addressing this issue at the border. I've stated this all the time, that we need to address this issue at the border. We need to have a proper decompression strategy. That was accomplished with what the White House announced. I'm going to speak with my colleagues in Washington and Chicago.
Under no circumstance do we believe FEMA should be reimbursing anyone that was using buses or using dollars to send buses here. So we believe we're moving in the right direction and we're going to continue to talk. My hat's off too, again, I said last week the governor. We need the National Guard. They're coming out to give us assistance.
We opened one HERRC over the weekend. I visited yesterday. We're going to be opening the other HERRC at Randall's Island. We're going to continue to do what we're doing and we believe that we're going to get the assistance that we need from the state and feds. I want to thank the congressional delegation and the senators, Senators Gillibrand and Schumer, for also adding their voice to this issue.
Mayor Adams: You dropped something, Kelly. I don't know what it is.
Question: Thank you.
Mayor Adams: You're quite welcome. That's the emotional intelligence part of me.
Question: Thank you. Back to the migrant crisis (inaudible), the mayor of El Paso may stop sending buses to New York City now that the White House (inaudible). Have you talked to the mayor of El Paso?
Mayor Adams: No. I know he attempted to reach out last week and there was some mix-up in the schedules. Right now we have not witnessed that decrease yet. We are hoping with the decompression strategy, that we are able to stop the flow. That's the big thing. We have to stop the flow of buses that are coming from other municipalities. This is a national issue and I'm happy to see the White House has responded to that. But we have not communicated with the mayor and actually I think the article quoted the city administrator because they have a different structure where the city administrator has a great deal more power it appears. But we're going to continue to push that. We need to stop the flow so that we can deal with the issues that we have here.
Mayor Adams: We're hoping so. If they're living up to their word, we hope we will see less buses.
Question: Mr. Mayor, (inaudible) rolled out as mayor was an action plan (inaudible) the homeless and (inaudible) when someone who doesn't know someone else randomly attacks someone on the subway. Afterwards, oftentimes they’ve been (inaudible), some other mental issue. Why do you think the situation has spun out of control (inaudible)?
Mayor Adams: Well, success is no one being in any way impacted by anyone that's dealing with emotional issues or violence because you sort of brought them both together. I think we have eight homicides this year, two more than last year. You can't tie all of them to people with emotional issues. Some of them are violent people, criminals that we must continue to make sure we have the police present, the proper deployment to do our job in law enforcement, which we have. Everyone knows, I quote it often, the number of firearms we've removed from the streets and our action plan on the subway system. My goal is to continue to enhance that.
Because I've said it over and over again, we're dealing with actual crimes, those eight homicides, and we're dealing with the perception of fear that people are feeling. That's the combination. And I must deal with that perception and the actual crime. We can't get away from the fact we have 3.5 million people using our subway system. We have to be honest about that. And those average of six crimes a day is not giving the impression that our system is out of control. It's just not... I'm going to come back to you, Nolan. And so my goal is to continue that deployment and enhance that police coverage and to make sure that we deal with the mental health crisis, not only on our subway system but on our streets.
Mayor Adams: No, no. Let Nolan follow. Go ahead.
Question: (Inaudible) 6 million people ride the subway…
Mayor Adams: Yes.
Question: For safety. And we have maybe a homicide a year. So can you explain to us why the number is eight times what it was before the pandemic.
Mayor Adams: Too many guns on our streets, I've said this over and over again. This is not a unique conversation. And there's no condolence or consolation, I should say, if you are shot on a subway or on the street. I would never stand in front of the New York City public and say "Well okay, your loved one was not shot on the subway system." There are too many guns on our streets. We brought down homicides, we brought down victims of shootings. We continue to do the job.
Our Police Department has done an amazing job, 27 year high, the thousands of guns removed off our streets. But everyone must play the role. Judges must keep shooters in jail. Lawmakers make sure we don't make laws that allow them to return to our streets. And we have to prosecute these cases. There are too many guns on our streets. And those guns that are on our streets, they're also in our subway system, they're also in our schools. They're everywhere we are as innocent New Yorkers. So yes, eight times as many as you quoted, because there's too many guns on our streets.
Question: Mayor, the City Council is getting ready to vote on a pretty big project in Queens, Innovation QNS. Last week the local Councilwoman Julie Won, (inaudible). What is your view on that particular project, and do you think the City Council should vote (inaudible)?
Mayor Adams: I support the project, but I think that all of us must be consistent in our message. We can't continue to acknowledge that we have a housing problem and then every project that pops up, we vote against it. We have a housing problem, and so I'm hoping that just as we've done with others, we can sit down and find a place that the councilwoman can understand that this is part of addressing the housing problem we have in the city. And we're engaging in real conversations with her and we're talking to our colleagues. Our colleagues are starting to see, I believe, that we have to address the housing problem.
Addressing the housing problem means building more housing, and that project is a good project. There are things that the councilwoman wants to talk about to get to a good and comfortable place. We're open to doing that, but that project should move forward. We can't continue to stop these projects as we are dealing with the housing problem we're facing.
Question: As a follow up, would you want them to support it even if she did not?
Mayor Adams: That's all part of the conversations we’re in. Member deference is something that is informally in the City Council. We're going to speak to the Council members and sell why this is a good project and we are hoping that they will stand with us.
Question: Thank you, Mr. Mayor. My colleague (inaudible) technology officer to make sure it has provided a security detail. Is this kind of an unusual usage of police resources for someone in his position? What's the justification for (inaudible)?
Mayor Adams: He doesn't have a security detail.
Question: He has police officers (inaudible) around the Tech.
Mayor Adams: He doesn't have a security detail. What Matt is doing, Matt is looking at ShotSpotter, Matt is looking at how do we use different technology to address public safety in this city. Having knowledgeable police officers participating in this role is so helpful. And so anytime you are with a police officer that is helping you carry out an initiative, that's not a detail. He does not have a detail. He has police officers that are assisting him in the public safety aspect of the Chief Technology Office. ShotSpotters, looking after guns, camera usage, that's what he's doing. He doesn't have a police detail.
No police is around him all day trying to protect him. No one is going after my Chief Technology Office, and he doesn't have a police detail. I said this about Deputy Mayor Banks, he didn't have a police detail. They don't have police details. We are using police officers with their knowledge to assist us in the overall scheme because that's how I run the city. It's an entire team, how I run the city. I don't tell police officers, "You could only stay in One Police Plaza." No, the team is going to work together. Now if people want to keep saying he has a police detail, there's nothing I can do about it. But I can just tell you he does not have a police detail.
Question: Are there any other administration officials that have similar use of deputies?
Mayor Adams: I want to... I like when you do this better than Fabian. She actually protects me. People are utilizing city employees wherever we need to utilize them. That is what we are doing. My orders to the city is wherever you can utilize a city employee, you're going to utilize that city employee. That includes FDNY, NYPD, DSNY. Everyone is on this team together.
Mayor Adams: I'm sorry, run up to me. I knew you said Staten Island or no? Okay. Then he said what?
Question: He said that the emergency shelters, he expects to be over six (inaudible).
Mayor Adams: Okay, and we don't know. We going to pivot and shift based on the need. If these buses stop, we can pivot and shift another way. When I was at the HERRC last night, I was amazed to find out how many people were there, that we were able to take them and connect them with where they wanted to go. So we are over 20,000 that have come through our system but a substantial number were able to go where they wanted to go.
And so it's difficult to say how long something is going to be in place because we're going to pivot and shift based on the demand. This is what we've always done. We're going to pivot and shift based on what we are hit with. We were hit with this unprecedented influx, and what did we do? We pivot and shifted to make sure that we addressed it. I don't know what you're seeing, if you're seeing what's happening across the country, it's not happening here. And so based on the needs, we're going to shift and we're going to pivot and we're going to address this issue. And we're going to cycle out of this issue like we cycled out of COVID, monkeypox, polio, and everything else. This administration will pivot and shift.
Question: I want to ask you about baseball…
Mayor Adams: You can't jinx…
Question: Now on a serious topic, on Rikers Island. Comptroller Lander has said that he's calling for federal control over Rikers. He was very intentional in not saying that's your fault, not anything you're doing, but it's more about cutting some of the red tape and the systemic institutional issues that are in play. What do you think about that proposal of a federal receiver, specifically to deal with some of the red tape that constrains you the most?
Mayor Adams: Whoever calls for federal receivership, I'm asking them to go visit federal prisons. Go to 30th and Third Avenue. The number of complaints that we hear, I don't know why people think the response to a problem is allowing someone else to handle the problem. No, I want the problem. I want the problem of the generational dysfunction of Rikers. I want it. I don't want someone else to handle a problem of New York City.
The problems that we have, I was elected to resolve them, and so I want the problem of Rikers Island. I want to fix Rikers Island and that's why I have a commissioner that's capable of doing it. So all those who are saying that my correction officers are not capable of doing it, all those who are saying have others come in to handle our education, to handle this, to handle that, to handle that. All I can say to them, don't ever run for mayor. Because if your solution to solving the problems of this city is to find other people to fix them, then you should never be the mayor of this City of New York. Mayor Adams wants the problems because I was elected to fix them.