NYC war on rats: First anti-rat day of action

311 calls on rat activity from last two months have decreased by 20 percent compared to last year 


New York City Mayor Eric Adams, New York City Sanitation Department (DSNY) Commissioner Jessica Tisch, and Director of Citywide Rodent Mitigation Kathleen Corradi released new data showing a 20 percent decrease in 311 calls about rat activity across the city over the last two months, as compared to last year. The significant drop took place from May to mid-July, in the period since the city fully implemented new set-out times and a corresponding collection schedule that minimizes the time trash sits on the curb and increases the use of containers citywide. Additionally, the city’s four rat mitigation zones (Bronx Grand Concourse, Harlem, Bedford-Stuyvesant/Bushwick, and East Village/Chinatown) saw rat sighting calls decrease by an average of more than 45 percent.  

“New Yorkers may not know this about me — but I hate rats,” said Mayor Adams. “It’s still early, but these numbers show what we’re doing is working and that we are moving in the right direction. Every food scrap that we keep out of the trash and every black bag that we keep off the street is a meal that we’re taking out of a hungry rodent’s stomach. It takes all of us to win the war on rats, so I encourage New Yorkers to keep composting, keep putting your trash in containers, and I hope to see you out there at one of our ‘Anti-Rat Community Days of Action.’” 

“We put New York City’s rats on a historically aggressive fasting diet, founded on reducing the amount of time trash sits on our city streets, getting food out of our waste stream, and ultimately getting all trash into containers,” said Deputy Mayor for Operations Meera Joshi. “Thanks to the hard and collaborative work of many city agencies and determined public servants, it’s working!” 

“The progress outlined today shows that when we work to implement thoughtful strategies as part of a multi-agency approach, we can deliver on quality-of-life issues for New Yorkers,” said Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services Anne Williams-Isom 

“Rats eat what humans throw away, and whenever our trash sits on the sidewalk, the rats will line up for their dinner,” said DSNY Commissioner Tisch.  

“There’s a saying in the anti-rodent world: ‘If you feed them, you breed them,’” said Director of Citywide Rodent Mitigation Corradi. “The frontline of our war on rats is at the all-you-can-eat buffet of black trash bags, and thanks to hard work across this administration, we’re cutting that buffet off.” 

Mayor Adams also announced that the administration will co-host the first Anti-Rat Community Day of Action in the Harlem Rat Mitigation Zone, in partnership with the BUFNY II/Harlem Street Tenants Association. Taking place on August 12th, the Day of Action will bring together city and community partners to share best practices and take action on street tree care, waste/litter management, and rodent mitigation.  

Image courtesy of thesatimes

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