There’s garbage peeking out of nearby trash cans, and recyclables overflowing from some bins. Lancaster village officials said mismanaged garbage is to blame for the uptick in rat complaints. Residents like Cheryl Brand say she's had enough. “I don't like it. I don't care for rats in my neighborhood.”
Brand said she'd like the village to move toward garbage totes. “I don't think the rats would have access to the garbage. It will be in totes that are high up with a lid.” “A tote keeps it more organized and I noticed that some of the garbage cans have holes in the bottom, and they seem to get in there,” said resident, Angelo Cordaro.
Monday, the Village of Hamburg became the latest Wester New York municipality to make the switch over to garbage totes. The move is expected to curb a growing rat infestation in that community. “It went on for about two years now, and we had the county come out, work with us on it and it was not getting any better. So, we had to decide how we could make it better,” explained Hamburg Mayor, Thomas Moses.
Each Hamburg homeowner will be assigned a garbage tote and a recycling tote sometime in July or August. Village officials said they're still working out the cost. But, they don't expect it to be more than a one-time payment of $70 per household.
Lancaster residents like Cheryl Brand don't give a rats behind what it costs. She thinks the totes would be the solution to Lancaster’s rat problem. “I think we should've had totes a long time ago and we don't understand why we don't.”
The village is looking to launch an educational program to show residents how to keep rats away from their homes. Town officials said they are considering switching to totes. However, they aren't included in the current Waste Management contract. It doesn't expire until 2019.the town attorney is reviewing the contract to see what, if anything, can be done.