Sorry, Rats! Fancy New Trash Cans Arrive in Local Playgrounds to Stop the Scourge

Photo by Ellen Goodman in Hippo Playground.

New trash cans just arrived in Riverside Park, and they could throw a wrench in the dinner plans of neighborhood rats. The mayor’s office and Councilmember Helen Rosenthal funded special receptacles known as Big Belly trash cans, with mailbox-like openings, in every playground in Riverside Park as part of a plan to keep rats out of the area, Rosenthal’s spokesperson said.

“It’s wonderful to see tangible solutions to problems in the neighborhood,” wrote Ellen Goodman, whose toddler plays at Hippo Playground on 91st Street in Riverside Park.

The vermin had infested the playgrounds last year, with parents sending us videos of them scurrying through children’s play areas. After our article, and subsequent press coverage, the mayor announced that he would be allocating $750,000 to the Upper West Side for rat eradication.

Less trash should mean fewer rats, although it will depend on everyone disposing of their garbage.

NEWS | 16 comments | permalink
    1. Jim Demetrios says:

      I saw and used one today at Riverside Park. Attractive and I loved it. Good job city.

    2. UWS_lifer says:

      There is a big assumption here….that people will actually throw their trash INTO the cans.

      Some people are so disrespectful that they just drop their garbage, including half eaten whatever, on the ground. I see it almost everyday in Riverside and/or Central Park depending on my jogging route for the morning. I like to mix it up and I get to see what’s going on with all you folks in many different settings.

      p.s. On leash, off leash…PICK UP AFTER YOUR DOGS!!:) thanks

    3. anonymous says:

      They might try forbidding the bird-feeders who come daily scattering enormous bags of bread crumbs that end up feeding more than the ducks. (Bread isn’t even good for birds, but try to tell the bird-feeders that…)

      Actually, the police have told me feeding the birds IS against park regulations, but there no signs saying so. Putting up a few such signs might help.

    4. BillyNYC says:

      We have at the AMNH for two years now and all the rats are gone 2 days later… It is about time!

    5. Joey says:

      How about bins for recyclables?

    6. Rat A. Tooey says:

      Deer Editta:

      About yer “New trash canz… could throw a wrench in the dinner plans of neighborhood rats.”

      Us ‘vermin’ don’t no nuttin about t’rowin’ wenches…oops…wRenches, but we do knows dat da subway is warm and has lotza good eatibles.

      Hey, youmens, keep buyin’ dem chikken wings…speshally da ones wif dat bar-bee-kew stuff, and t’rowin da bonz on da tracks!


    7. Marion says:

      What about killing the rats! They may disappear from the playgrounds, which is great, but they will just wander elsewhere on the UWS. This doesn’t eliminate the problem.

    8. Phoebe says:

      Rats LOVE to eat dog poop; it attracts them. Please don’t say that’s why we need more rats… even if they are admittedly far cuter than poop.

    9. Mootown says:

      I actually leave food out at the park for the rats. Unlike the majority of the people on the UWS side, rats aren’t assholes. Whatever happened to “every life matters”? Starving animals is wrong

    10. NYWoman says:

      Please add to Amsterdam Avenue along Restaurant Row, with an aggressive BID cleanup crew that keeps it fabulous – that will put money in the restauranteur’s pockets and add a more positive spin on summer weekend nights along the sidewalk cafes.