City Hands Out Fines for Violations of Bedbug Mattress Law

The New York City Department of Sanitation requires city residents to fully seal any mattresses or box springs in plastic bags before leaving them out for curbside pickup. Failure to do so can result in a $100 fine. The law is intended to help slow the spread of bedbugs.

Full enforcement of the law began on Jan. 3, 2011. In the first three months of 2011, city sanitation workers awarded $100 fines to 4,345 property owners for not putting mattresses in plastic bags before placing them on the curb for pickup. About two-thirds of the citations were in Brooklyn and the Bronx—1,516 and 1,351 cases, respectively. Staten Island had the fewest cases with 377, and Manhattan wasn't far behind with 400 violations. Queens had 701 fines.

“With this new rule, we are safeguarding our workers and helping to mitigate the spread of bedbugs,” Sanitation Commissioner John Doherty said in a press release. “We also suggest that the plastic bags be placed around the bedding before removing it from rooms and bringing it out to the curb to further limit bedbugs from infesting other parts of the home or apartment.”