New York City, NY

Washington Heights council member presents legislation to combat ongoing rat problem

Anthony Payero

By Anthony Payero

(NEW YORK) New York City Council Member Shaun Abreu teamed with fellow Council Members Eric Bottcher and Sandy Nurse to present two new legislation items Thursday that target the rat problem in Washington Heights, but also the city as a whole.

"Rats are a huge quality of life issue, and they pose a real threat to public health in the numbers that we've been seeing," Abreu said in a statement, per Patch. "My office has gotten calls about rats burrowing into apartments, climbing through walls, even burrowing under a school playground, where they've become so bold as to run around during the day, scaring young students during recess."

The first piece of legislation will look to require rodent-proof trash can coverings in buildings where infestations frequently take place. The second piece of legislation calls for the formation of rat mitigation zones by the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and allows a building with nine or more units located within the zone to put trash out for collection earlier than other buildings.

Abreu, who represents Washington Heights' District 7, said the rats have "reached a boiling point."

If approved, the law will go into effect 180 days after being ratified.

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