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City spends millions to fight rodents with new trash bins, more rubbish removal • Brooklyn Paper

City spends millions to fight rodents with new trash bins, more rubbish removal

The enemy: Relatives of this rat, which was photographed outside a Brooklyn subway station, that live in Bushwick and Bedford-Stuyvesant are being targeted as part of Mayor DeBlasio’s $32-million plan to reduce rodent populations in select neighborhoods across the city.
Locals claim Coney Island has been taken over by rats!

This plan is a bunch of garbage.

The city is spending millions of dollars to keep rats in Bushwick and Bedford-Stuyvesant away from the tasty trash they feed on by installing new rodent-resistant rubbish bins and increasing garbage pickups, two tactics that local exterminators said will go a long way in vanquishing the vermin.

“The big thing about controlling rats is eliminating foods sources and places where they can shelter,” said Walid Smith, owner of Bedford-Stuyvesant–based A-List Exterminator. “Managing trash is a big step in the right direction.”

Mayor DeBlasio announced the city’s $32-million rat-reduction plan, which aims to reduce the rodent population in select neighborhoods across the five boroughs by 70 percent, at a July 12 press conference. Bushwick and Bedford-Stuyvesant are included because residents of the densely-packed nabes produce enough garbage to cause persistent infestations, according to a Department of Health rep.

And the continuing development in Bushwick has led to an uptick in rodent-related complaints, according to Community Board 4’s Chairwoman, because rats tend to invade homes when new construction displaces them from theirs.

“Given the increase in construction in the neighborhood, the rat population has inevitably grown, leading to more complaints and general quality of life concerns,” said Julie Dent.

The mayor’s scheme calls for replacing most of the city’s current wire wastebaskets with steel rubbish bins or solar-powered compactors with mailbox-style lids. It also will increase pickups of trash from residential buildings and public bins in targeted neighborhoods starting in August, and continue already-in-place daily rubbish removal from all parks in those nabes.

And, as part of the plan, city housing complexes with dirt-floor basements will have new concrete flooring installed to prevent rats from burrowing into the buildings.

Hizzoner said he will crackdown on residential building owners in the scheme by introducing legislation that cuts the amount of time they can leave trash on the sidewalk. The law would require landlords of properties with 10 or more units to place garbage curbside after 4 am on collection days, instead of after 4 pm the day before it’s collected as currently allowed, limiting rodents’ ability to feast on the festering rubbish.

Extermination experts critical of the mayor’s plan said it does not go far enough, arguing that nothing short of daily, borough-wide trash removal will relieve Brooklyn of it’s furry freeloaders.

“There’s too much garbage and not enough pickup,” said James Molluso of Marine Park’s Northeastern Exterminating. “The city needs to do some sort of 24-hour garbage pickup for this to work.”

Reach reporter Colin Mixson at cmixson@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-4505.

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