Mayor de Blasio came to Chinatown yesterday to announce a $32 million plan to rid several target areas in New York City of rats. The Chinatown neighborhood, along with the Lower East Side, will be included in the initiative, which is aimed at cutting the rat population by 70% by the end of next year.
The announcement was made at a senior center at 70 Mulberry St., with local elected officials and community advocates looking on.
The city will purchase 336 solar trash compactors (at $7000 each) and place them in problem areas. The plan also calls for replacing more than 1600 wire trash cans in parks and on street corners with steel trash containers. Millions of dollars will be spent to replace dirt basement floors in NYCHA buildings, and to purchase trash compactors for public housing complexes. The City Council will be urged to pass legislation requiring larger buildings to put trash outside for pickup in the early morning, rather than in the evenings. And as the New York Times explained:
…it includes a new process to kill rats in their burrows using dry ice, a method only recently approved by the Environmental Protection Agency and tested to promising effect in some areas of the city last year. (In one Chinatown park, packing burrows with dry ice resulted in the deaths of 1,200 rats — suffocated by the release of carbon dioxide — and a reduction of rat burrows from 60 to two, officials said.)
You can view the full press release from the mayor’s office here.