How the City of Chicago Plans to Attack Their Rat Problem

Chicago residents are well aware of the major rat problem plaguing the city, and Mayor Rahm Emanuel is taking a stand to make a difference.

Emanuel recently announced that he will be adding reinforcements to combat the ongoing rat problem that the city deals with on a daily basis. He said during his 2018 budget proposal earlier in October that he intends to add five more rodent control crews to their already 30-crew Department of Streets and Sanitation’s Bureau of Rodent Control fleet. He also plans to provide $500,000 for the funding of additional black garbage carts.

According to the Chicago Tribune, the 10,000 additional garbage carts would be heavy-duty and hold 96 gallons of waste. The carts would be used to keep trash out of rodents’ reach. So far this year, 23,400 carts have been requested to be replaced after being lost or stolen. More than 10,000 garbage carts have been fixed since January 2016. Rats tend to gravitate toward any garbage cart that is broken or has a spillover of garbage. The average American will throw away 600 times the amount of their adult weight in garbage during their lifetime. That’s a lot of garbage for the rats to have access to if they come across broken or overflowing carts.

Mayor Emanuel talked about the new anti-rodent plan in a press release.

“These critical investments in rodent control and garbage carts allow us to continue to provide the best possible service on behalf of residents,” Mayor Emanuel said.

According to the Chicago Sun Times, this new plan would be paid for by the savings that were generated from the switch to a garbage collection grid system. Streets and Sanitation Commissioner Charles Williams said that each rodent complaint would be handled within five days of it’s making. So far this year, the city had fielded 39,000 rat abatement requests.

“The rodent battle will only benefit from the investment in garbage carts which helps ensure that residents can swap out any damaged carts for a new or refurbished one in a timely manner,” Williams said regarding this matter.

City leaders hope this addition and change will significantly decrease the number of rats that roam the Chicago streets.