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Rats in Park Slope

Neighbors say Park Slope school serves free lunch to rodents

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Workers at a Park Slope school have turned the surrounding block into a midnight buffet for hungry rodents — and fat-bellied rats are always back for seconds, neighbors say.

Some Slopers claim the clean-up crew at PS 282 regularly tosses trash bags filled with rotting cafeteria food on the sidewalk in front of the school, attracting throngs of nasty rats on Sixth Avenue and Berkeley Place.

“It looks like a landfill — it’s just disgusting,” said neighbor Karen Hartmann, who claims the filthy mess sits on the sidewalk, and sometimes spills onto the street, overnight on weekends and for days at a time on weekends. “The school makes no effort to clean it.”

Hartmann says the problem could be solved easily if the school stored its trash somewhere secure — like in a closed Dumpster — until garbage crews arrive.

Her complaints closely mirror those of Windsor Terrace residents who claimed raccoons were enjoying regular meals from half-finished milk cartons left in trash bags on the sidewalk outside PS 154.

PS 282 principal Magalie Alexis did not return calls on Thursday or Friday.

Hartmann — who claims the neighborhood’s rat population has boomed recently — says school officials have been unresponsive for months.

“What message does it send?” she said.

Reach reporter Natalie O'Neill at noneill@cnglocal.com or by calling her at (718) 260-4505.

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Reader Feedback

Marta from ps says:
The area by this school is absolutely disgusting. They should be ashamed to keep it like that. It looks like a slum.
May 21, 2012, 11:28 am
Not Goish from Prospect Heights says:
Sounds like the crew at the old John Jay HS. Part of 4th Street near 7th Avenue is always awash in trash, and the Dept. of Education doesn't respond to 311 complaints.
May 21, 2012, 1:22 pm
David from Park Slope says:
I live on the block. Even without the rats, it's just ugly and gross to have all the stinky trash out there on the sidewalk like that. Lots of kids have to walk by there every day on the way to the playground. If this was a business I'm sure it would be fined like crazy. Get a dumpster!
May 21, 2012, 2:12 pm
Joey from Bensonhurst says:
End the Free Meals program. This program is unfair to students whose parents work who have to pay for the food or bring their own. If children of welfare parent(s) had to prepare meals at home for the school day, there would be a lot less waste. Most free food winds up int garbage because the kids don't care when they get it for free.
May 22, 2012, 4:13 pm

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