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.
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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 or by calling (718) 260-4505.
Updated 5:57 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

Holly Wooter says:
If the rats don't get food from the garbage they'll look for other sources. They might start eating weaker and older people instead. This sounds dangerous.
July 17, 2017, 3:10 am
Betty from Williamsburg says:
The new solar pails are a waste of $$ pun intended. People do NOT want to TOUCH the pull down handle to discard is not sanitary. They need to have them open by stepping on a peddle or something. Also...when these are installed sanitation does not make as many pick ups believing it is not necessary...big mistake. They also look too much like mail boxes...yup, people are using them for that when not leaving junk on top.
July 17, 2017, 2:46 pm
Nat from Brooklyn says:
In Barcelona they have giant trash cans with pedals for you to step on. Also let's implement Sterilising the Rats so they cannot reproduce.
July 17, 2017, 3 pm
Gimme from Yourz says:
I like to insert rats into me and let them crawl deep inside. Then my butbuddies beat the crap out of me so they scurry out yo!
July 17, 2017, 4:55 pm
Pedro Valdez Rivera Jr. from BS, BK, NY, US says:
Meanwhile, how does the bureaucratic MTA are dealing with the rat situation? A lot worse than you we think, especially in our own subway system.
July 18, 2017, 1:26 pm
Tyler from pps says:
Joe - I was waiting for the inevitable dumb comment about the food scrap composting bins. Have you seen the brown plastic bins used for compost collection? They are A LOT more secure from rats than the plastic bags you throw out on the street filled with food scraps.

Willful ignorance is not a positive personality trait.
July 19, 2017, 11:29 am
Brklynmind from Park Slope says:

Do you have any empirical data that supports the notion that the composting bins, which must be opened by sanitation at each location, is a better than plastic bag usage?
July 19, 2017, 5:38 pm
Tyler from pps says:
Brklynmind -- Yeah, so let's assume both are equal defenses against rats.... in one scenario the food scraps are composted and in the other the food scraps are put in a landfill.

Not sure what your point about the DSNY opening the bins at each location is. Are you suggesting there is a huge population of rats being sustained by a chunk of pepper or onion skin stuck to the side of the container? Just sitting behind a fence waiting to attack as soon as the container is opened?
July 20, 2017, 9:33 am
Sean from Williamsburg says:
Brklynmind Here's your empirical data: Rats eat through plastic garbage bags AND plastic garbage bins. I've replaced my plastic bins with galvanized metal for this very reason.
July 20, 2017, 12:14 pm

Comments closed.

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