This mayor’s a killer — of rats, that is!
Mayor Adams signed off on several bills Friday designed to reduce the city’s vermin population — a continuation of a policy push he’s taken visible joy in since his days as Brooklyn borough president.
The City Council bills Adams signed into law require that the city Health Department create and map out “rat mitigation zones” by April 1, that licensed exterminators be hired to work on certain construction sites and that owners of buildings that have received two or more rodent-related violations use rat-resistant containers for at least two years.
A fourth law codifies when garbage can be set out on the curb.
“I hate rats. And we are going to kill some rats,” Adams said with a broad smile during a press conference Friday. “Clean streets are vital to vibrant neighborhoods and to New York City’s economic recovery. They go hand in hand, and we hear it over and over again that people are concerned about the over-visualization of rats in their community and the infestation.”
Hizzoner has had a hate-hate relationship with rats for years now.
Before becoming mayor, during his tenure as Brooklyn borough president, he famously oversaw the rubout of 90 cheese eaters at press conference outside Borough Hall. His method then was a box that draws the rats in with the smell of food and traps them in a vat filled with caustic fluid.
“Not only am I the borough president; I’m the pied piper!” he crowed gleefully at the time.
More recently, Adams and Sanitation Department Commissioner Jessica Tisch announced that trash from residential and commercial buildings could not be placed on curbs until 8 p.m. — as opposed to the prior earliest starting time of 4 p.m.
Councilman Shaun Abreu (D-Manhattan), who pushed for the law limiting the amount of time trash sits on the street, touted the latest measures as a turning of the page in the city’s war on rats.
“There’s no more Remy the Rat and no more Mickey Mouse on the streets of New York City,” he said. “We’re trashing the old way of doing trash and introducing a new, visionary approach to garbage.”
Adams also leveled a snub at past administrations when it comes to vermin — and specifically pointed to both former Mayor John Lindsay and the mint-scented garbage bags deployed during former Mayor Bill de Blasio’s time in office as objects of scorn.
“It started during the Lindsay Administration when we were dealing with a particular issue around trash. We moved away from the trash cans. We introduced plastic bags into our lives. It has never been the same. This is going to be a difficult task if we don’t really deal with plastic bags,” he said. “And I don’t know who thought of these ideas about mint bags is going to stop rats. It’s comical.”
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