Re: The Most Rat-Infested Blocks on the Upper West Side, Adam Janos, West Side Spirit, Thursday, August 22, 1023
In last week's article on rats and the recent street tree pit pilot project, my office along with Community Board 7, NYC Department of Health, and NYC Department of Parks is sponsoring, the reporter does not give West Siders the credit they deserve. I take issue with the article's suggestion that the best New Yorkers can do to address the City's rat problem is accept it as the cost trade-off for living here. The best rat deterrent is to eliminate nest sites and food sources. But in dense urban neighborhoods only strong cooperation between government and residents will make this effective. My office works with motivated residential block associations, small businesses, and our city agencies to work block by block using best practices to reduce the rat population. The residents take on a critical role in the process. There are many examples of block associations having significant success.
The tree pit pilot project is the latest in this type of collaboration. If successful, it can be offered to other block associations requesting assistance. In addition, at our most recent rat management training for residents, the NYC Department of Sanitation discussed their new program to collect and recycle the residential food waste where rats primarily feed. If someone is interested in learning more about either the tree pit pilot program or the organic waste collection program, please call my office at 212-873-0282.
Gale A. Brewer, New York City Council Member