As the city struggles to close a growing budget gap, lawmakers are proposing selling advertising rights to garbage bins, scaffolding, and even city park facilities, efforts they say could bring millions of dollars a year to city coffers.
Council Member David Yassky of Brooklyn is calling for the city to begin allowing advertising on municipal trash cans and suggested that such a move, which he estimated could bring $2.5 million in revenue, would help during difficult economic times.
"We need to be as creative as we can about finding sources of revenues to ease the burden on taxpayers," Mr. Yassky said yesterday. "We sold advertising on newsstands and bus shelters and other so-called street furniture. There's just no reason not to extend that to trash cans."
Mr. Yassky's push for trash can ads is the latest in a series of moves to expand public advertising, a lucrative source of income for the city.
Council Member Melinda Katz introduced legislation last year that would allow advertising rights to be sold for construction sheds and scaffolding, many of which are currently covered with illegal posters. The bill, which has more than 30 co-sponsors, has not been brought to the floor for a vote.
In the city's preliminary budget this year, Mayor Bloomberg proposed selling naming rights to venues owned by the Parks Department, such as zoos, pools, and sports fields, potentially bringing in millions of dollars in revenue, the New York Post reported.
The city is in the middle of a 20-year contract signed in 2005 that grants the ad rights to its newsstands, public restrooms, and other street furniture to a Spanish company, Cemusa, in exchange for $1.4 billion in revenue and free city advertising.