NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- The New York City Council passed new legislation stepping up the city's ongoing effort to control its rat population.
The Rat Action Plan, first introduced back in July, was approved by council's Sanitation Committee on Wednesday.
It requires the city to establish rat mitigation zones, where the city will double-down in its war on the rodents, and mandates annual Health Department reports on the rat problem.
The legislation also requires the owners of some large buildings to use rodent-proof trash bins.
And it sets new pest management standards for all major private construction projects.
"People are not going to want to live here, they're not going to want to work here or visit her if they're seeing rats all the time," said NYC Councilmember Erik Bottcher.
New York City's 311 hotline saw a 60% surge in rat complaints from New Yorkers in April 2022, from the same period three years ago.
"While this approach is not going to solve and fix all of our furry friend problems, it's certainly going to make a dent here in the problem we have with our city," said NYC Councilmember Chi Ossé.
Meanwhile, there are two other pilot rat mitigation programs being implemented. Starting next year, 8 p.m. will be the new time residential and commercial garbage can be placed on the curb, reducing the length of time rats can feast on trash.
And then there's the Clean Curb program, which places rodent-proof bins in test locations in all five boroughs.
Still, the city says all of these measures are just the beginning.
"This package is not going to solve the rat issue, the two strongest mitigation efforts we could do is pass mandatory, universal curbside organics and a citywide containerization program," said NYC Councilmember Sandy Nurse.
And NYC was ranked the second "rattiest city" by Orkin pest control earlier this month, trailing only Chicago in the company's latest rankings.
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