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 Policy Order Resolution
  October 22, 2012

WHEREAS: The City of Cambridge has implemented many strategies in an attempt to control the rodent population within the city; and
WHEREAS: Many of these strategies have been effective. For example, changes in the litter & refuse ordinance(s); creation of the dumpster ordinance(s); improved coordination among city departments; the placement within squares and parks closed trash containers (Big Belly); the publishing of an online rodent-control pamphlet; the creation of an online rodent reporting system; and increased Inspectional Services reviews that cite non-compliant property owners; and 
WHEREAS: Despite these efforts the rodent population within the city continues to increase (perhaps due to widespread availability of food; mild winters; and increased construction on both MBTA properties and private properties); and 
WHEREAS: Residents and property owners must work in concert to reduce the urban rodent population; and 

There are further strategies the City of Cambridge and residents might employ such as:

  • Compiling a public database that shows the warnings & citations issued to various property owners -- including actions owners have taken in response to citations,
    city re-inspection and notation of outcomes
  • Creating a public map that plots reported rodent sightings and citation locations with monthly updates
  • Building a "frequent rodent-control violator list" such as is currently done by Inspectional Services for the "frequent restaurant sanitary-code violator" list
  • Inspecting commercial properties that are composting to ensure proper handling of composted material
  • Increasing how often the DPW picks up from the city's open sidewalk trash barrels
  • Replacing the many damaged plastic liners within the city's open sidewalk trash barrels
  • Engaging all residents in rodent-control measures by communicating on this topic regularly via the city-wide newsletter
  • Allowing smoke testing of storm & sewer lines to identify cracks and possible entry points for locations that have seemingly intractable infestations
  • Publishing on the city's rodent web page a list of pest-control companies known to employ Best Practices and a resident guide that explains what to look for in a pest-control contract
  • Deputizing city residents as "block captains" to assist with educational efforts and support neighborhood adherence to the litter & refuse ordinances
  • Including within the public school's curriculum an "anti-littering" unit
  • Increasing animal waste law enforcement -- since dog waste is a food source for rats
  • Setting aside funds for residents who need financial assistance in order to replace trash receptacles; now therefore be it 
ORDERED: That the City Manager be and hereby is requested to work together with Inspectional Services, the Department of Public Works, the Law Department, the Public Information Department, the Public Health Department and a group of concerned residents and property owners to explore action on the above suggestions; and be it further 


That the city provide updates on reported rodents locations and activity via map and/or charts; and be it further 


That the City Manager be and hereby is requested to report back to the City Council as soon as possible. 

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