Friday, July 14, 2017

City ready to attack rats in Tompkins Square Park (and elsewhere) (again)


The war on rats began (again) yesterday as city workers installed new Big Belly trash cans in Tompkins Square Park...


[Photo by EVG reader Andy on 7th]

These solar-powered, rat-proof trash cans — which cost $7,000 each, per the Daily News — seem to work when they are not full or have trash stacked next to them...


[Photo from June]


[Photo from June]

The high-tech trash cans are just part of Mayor de Blasio's $32 million plan to help reduce the number of rats in several neighborhoods, including the East Village.

The Mayor announced the renewed rat attack on Wednesday. Here's more via the Mayor's Office:

Mayor Bill de Blasio today announced a $32 million, multi-agency plan to reduce the city’s rat population that targets the three most infested parts of city: the Grand Concourse area, Chinatown/East Village/Lower East Side and Bushwick/Bedford-Stuyvesant. This interagency initiative aims to reduce rat activity by up to 70 percent in the targeted zones by minimizing food sources and available habitats.

This integrated pest management approach will build on the success of the City’s current rat abatement programs and attack environmental factors conducive to rats, which is more effective than poisoning rats alone. By dramatically reducing the available habitats and food sources in targeted areas, rat reproduction will diminish and rat colonies will decline.

The City will achieve this by cementing dirt basements in NYCHA, purchasing better waste containers, increasing trash pickup and increasing enforcement of rat-related violations in these areas. All aspects of this plan will be launched by the end of 2017.

To reduce the rat population, the de Blasio Administration will implement the following new programs in the three mitigation zones:

New waste containers: The City will purchase 336 solar compactors that restrict access to trash with a “mail-box” opening and that have resulted in 90% rat reductions when fully deployed in concentrated areas. The City will also replace all the remaining wire waste baskets in the zones with 1,676 steel cans — both in parks and on street corners — which should meaningfully reduce rats’ access to food sources compared to current wire baskets. Installation of solar compactors and steels cans will begin by September.

Better trash management in DOHMH-designated areas: The plan proposes a local law that requires buildings containing more than 10 units within the Mitigation Zones to curb garbage after 4am the day of trash collection, greatly reducing the availability of rats’ food source.

To further minimize rats’ food source, local laws will be proposed to require enrollment in organics collection by Food Service Establishments and low-performing buildings in the DOHMH-designated areas. A citywide local law will also be proposed to increase fines for illegal dumping by private business from $1,500 to $5,000 for first time offenses, with fines reaching up to $20,000 for additional violations.

More frequent trash pickup and anti-rat staff: The plan calls for increased DSNY basket and residential service in the most critical areas within the Mitigation Zones. Similarly, NYC Parks basket pickup will become an everyday occurrence in all parks within the Mitigation Zones, accompanied by targeted litter removal from parks.

Increased DSNY and NYC Parks waste basket pick up has already begun, with increased DSNY residential pick up beginning by the end of August. Eight staff will be added to DOHMH’s anti-rat team; seven front-line staff and a sophisticated data scientist to allow DOHMH to conduct data-driven rat mitigation efforts. Finally, NYCHA’s MyNYCHA mobile app will be modified to ensure tenants can effectively create work orders for trash removal and rat mitigation.

New laws to require better trash management: We will work with City Council to introduce new laws to improve trash management and reduce food for rats in these mitigation zones. These laws will require buildings with 10+ units to put out trash at 4 AM in DOHMH set areas, call for low-performing buildings to enroll in organics collection, instruct Food Service Establishments to enroll in organics in areas set by DOHMH, and increase fines for improper waste disposal and illegal dumping.

The plans did not include deploying more of the most-effective rat catchers in Tompkins Square Park...





Hawk photos by Bobby Williams

Previously on EV Grieve:
This may have a chilling effect on the rat population in Tompkins Square Park

East Village is No. 1 in Lower Manhattan for garbage, noise and rodent complaints, study finds

The East Village will be testing ground for a 'rat reservoir pilot'

Oh rats: CB3 reportedly tops in Manhattan for vermin

33 comments:

Gojira said...

I look forward to the city's equally aggressive campaign against greedy and predatory landlords and real estate developers, who are, as far I am concerned, much more insidious and disgusting than rats, and who cause infinitely more damage to many more people. When might that commence? Oh, the 12th of never? Thanks for that info.

Pinch said...

I was hoping to read in the details that the City was DONATED the $7,000 a pop solar compactors...but nope; lucky taxpayers!

Anonymous said...

I hope this effort has an impact, this summer the rats have been out of control on my block. I believe prompt pickup of residential garbage is really important lately trash sits on sidewalks for two days after scheduled pickup giving the rats a constant source of food during the week. Check out your nearest community garden and see if they will take your food waste for composting. Now if there was only a way to get through to the people that insist it's a good idea to dump food on the sidewalk for the birds (and rats).

Anonymous said...

Try anything but don't use poison! This already killed a hawk in a Chinatown park.

Ronnie said...


In related news... hope everyone enjoys sitting in the grass this evening for the Films on the Green series...

Giovanni said...

This is how gentrification works. For decades the City ignores the rats until enough people are driven out, then when enough rich people move in, the City does everything they can to drive the rats out. Note to City: you're going after the wrong rats.

Anonymous said...

Poison is the only thing that really works. Some day, people are going to have to face that fact.

Anonymous said...

I see most rats in the evenings as I walk home from work. They dart between the street garbage lined up in front of EV buildings for pickup the next day and the cellars or large cracks in the sidewalks next to the buildings. The landlords must be made responsible for sealing up all the access points to their buildings to prevent the rat nests in cellars, and the city must fix the broken sidewalks. And then there are the sewer and subway rats. Somehow, I just can't believe a $7G (!) garbage can is going to solve anything. Seriously? $7Gs?

Anonymous said...

Sanitation should try putting more garbage cans on every corner in the EV. The infrastructure is busting at the seams.

Anonymous said...

I wish they could make a better trashcan than the big belly one - nobody wants to touch that fuckin handle! Also sad to lose the classic and regional aesthetic of the mesh ones but I suppose it is necessary.

Anonymous said...

I wished they spent the money on getting more hawks and eagles for the city. These predatory birds also get rid of those flying rats aka pigeons.

Anonymous said...

People who call pigeons flying rats have perilously low IQs. And people who think only poison works to control rats obviously have no real knowledge about the situation and don't know/don't care about the huge collateral damage poison wreaks.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, right, and maybe one day when the housing system orders a court-ordered building inspection for my building it will actually happen. Where I live, the inspectors get "bought" because they NEVER SHOW UP, yet the inspection form is signed and updated. Where I live, the garbage is kept INSIDE THE BUILDING in a closet for 16 units!!! We are ALWAYS victims of vermin as they very often find their way inside, esp. because people in the "sister" building are too lazy to place their garbage inside. They leave it outside by the door and when it finally goes in the building (WRONG ON SO MANY LEVELS) it contains a rat. My LL cheats inspections (for decades now) and pays everyone off. It's horrible and the city just shrugs while we suffer.

JQ LLC said...

Great pics of the solar powered cans that already existed and how they clearly don't deter mass littering and illegal dumping

What a diabolical despot our corrupt mayor is, touting a program that was initiated at least a year ago. Yet again he ignores the real source for the proliferation of rats and ROUSes-the garbage left out on the streets by all the new luxury towers and all the development lots serving as temporary housing for the rodents during the night.

I have seen these receptacles in midtown. These trashbins are designed to keep the homeless people from digging for bottles and cans.

The rats will find a way, these filthy rodents are capable of going through plumbing to search for food.

Anonymous said...

Here's what I don't understand. Why the lawn in Tompkins Park is plush with people in the summer who sunbathe with in their trunks and bikinis. There are holes in and around the area where the rats live. Also, I've see rats ran on the grass many times. Why would anyone want to bask in their feces and bacteria? Those rats are known for their sharp teeth and penchant for food. I don't get it.

I thought the beach was a place to suntan?

Scuba Diva said...

It's a good idea that they're getting more compactors, since when the machine is full to capacity, people just put their litter, half-eaten food, and full cups on top of it. So Much Lose!

Anonymous said...

Maybe some dog lovers can get rat terriers and then let them loose in the park? What sport that would be!

Anonymous said...

City Rats Attached By City Rats

cmarrtyy said...

Whoop! Whoop! We're number 1. Yeah. Wow! N-u-m-b-e-r 1-! We should really thank our local politicians for their leadership and inspiration. How could we have lead the city in noise, rat and garbage?! Without them we're nothing. No we know where are politicians are...now we know.

Goggla said...

The trash compactors are nice, but they only work if people use them (and empty them). People are the problem. Every plastic bag of garbage on the street is a rat's feast. We need to completely change the way we dispose of trash and take some pride in our environment. Rat-proof dumpsters for businesses and residences, as well as timely trash pick-up by the sanitation dept is a start. Education is key and no, poison does NOT work.

Anonymous said...

What happened to the cans for recycling paper, cans, etc that were on many corners in the East Village

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 9:30 -- Regarding poison, what are we talking about? A couple of hawks vs. thousands of disease-ridden vermin. Yes, the hawks are nice, but I'd gladly trade them for a rat-free park.

Anonymous said...

Cheapest solution: Stop using plastic bags for garbage.

A metal garbage can with lid affixed will deter rats, mice and other vermin.

Anonymous said...

I don't know why but rats, pee smell, and garbage always generate under scaffolds...and scaffolds are everywhere in the East Village.

Anonymous said...

That's a very suburban POV. "Oh gross germs." This is a big city and you do what you have to do.

Look at photos of New Yorkers on their tar beaches through the generations. The NYPL has a collection of these photos.

Anonymous said...

@8:50 AM That's a totally stupid thing to say.
An atomic bomb would also work perfectly well at eliminating the rats.

Anonymous said...

Agree with @9:12 AM. I'm not OCD, but I won't touch those disgusting things.
I just carry my trash with me until I come upon a regular open top trash can.

Eden Bee said...

I saw a rat lifting another rat up into the new cans and holding it open while the other rat dragged out food from the bin. Then they just lifted the whole trash can itself and pushed it into one of their rat holes in the park. It was amazing!

Anonymous said...

I love rats. Leave 'em alone!

cmarrtyy said...

God, what a stupid solution! A 7G can?! Nobody wants to touch the handles. And it takes away income from the canners who can't get at the cans and bottles. Double bad solution. Double bad.

Anonymous said...

Rats are People TOO!

Anonymous said...

The problem isn't the existing laws, it's enforcement. Wanna know why the city has that famous summer rotten garbage smell, especially prominent in the East Village? Restaurants who put decomposing trash out on the sidewalk when they close, instead of within an hour of when their private garbage pickup is scheduled to arrive, per the law. It's illegal to put the garbage out too early. The city could make a fortune ticketing restaurants for this.

Anonymous said...

What 8:03pm said.