Thursday, September 6, 2007

Rat Heaven

We've been hearing of Uptown residents seeing more rats than usual in the neighborhood. After looking at this pic sent in by an "Uptown Update" reader we now know why. This overflowing dumpster is a common sight in most of Uptown. What can be done? More dumpsters? Any ideas?


  1. Welp,

    it is possible to climb in the dumpster and use one's body weight to mash the trash down.

    You would be surprised at how many people toss empty boxes into a dumpster without breaking them down. Generally much added room after doing that. Of course I weight about 400 pounds and am about 11 feet tall so it is easier for me. I just step in.

    If you call for an extra pickup it costs money. Alternative is be sneaky and use a neighbors dumpster.

    Hell if I see empty bags of trash outside a dumpster I will often pick them up and find an inviting dumpster nearby.

  2. If a dumpster is overflowing, either call 311 or report it on the City's web site. A S&S inspector can fine the offending business $500 if it doesn't come into compliance. (A lot of businesses don't want to pay for additional garbage pickups, so that's one reason for the overflow.) I've very rarely had to call twice about the same offender.

    Also, try to get the business to chain its dumpsters to keep scavengers from getting into them and dropping trash all over the place. Streets and San can strongly encourage the businesses to lock their dumpsters.

    An FYI: It's illegal for salvage companies to make pick-ups in residential areas before 7 a.m. Call 311 to make a report, with the name of the scavenger company in violation (and the dumpster number, if you have it). We used to have garbage trucks on our street starting at 5:15 a.m. We complained to the City and it hasn't been a problem since.

    If they can get away with it, they do... so make sure they don't on your block.

  3. If a dumpster is overflowing, call 311 and report it and ask for a reference number. Your 46th ward S & S department is supposed to issue a fine.

    FYI: if a salvage company is picking up before 7 A.M. call <911> and a friendly officer will issue a notice of violation. It's much quicker and more efficient than having to track down the scavenger company name and truck number.

  4. Just so everyone knows, a Norway Rat can easily jump into a dumpster from the ground. Check out this awesome PDF for rat fun facts:

  5. Dear Condo Owners - Yes you are responsbile for your common areas which includes the dumpsters - I am tire of hearing from condo owners that it's the management company responsibility - sorry this is part of ownership - and if you don't take care of the dumpster and the area around the dumpster you will get rats and get your neighbors angry - Calling 311 and sending videos to the 46th S + S office is a good way to get the building ticketed ... money is the only thing some people understand . just my thoughts

  6. If you're renting and your building's dumpster is overflowing regularly, start by asking your management to request an additional pickup every week. Yes, it costs, but they just might be willing to do it if someone asks. Worked with my management a couple of years ago, and we've had two pickups instead of one every week since. Overflows almost never happen now.

  7. That dumpster, along with many others along the Kenmore Alley, was not picked up for almost two weeks by Allied Waste. They neglected pickups despite numorous calls directly to Allied and to the City to report them skipping pickups.

    Their claim was that every time they tried a pickup, cars where blocking the alley down the street. While I doubt very much that in a two week period there was no opportunity to pass, everyone should know that they have been adivsed to call in for a tow if a vehicle is blocking the alley. Thus....Beware, if you or you guest have a car parked and blocking the alley, it WILL be towed. It is either that or a series of overflowing dumspters.....

  8. How did all the other dumpsters get picked up down Kenmore?

    I walk my girlfriend, Shelby the sheep, through Challenger Park 3 times a day and I didn't notice the other companies having a problem.

    Methinks something stinks at Allied Waste. Perhaps a driver who doesn't have the skill to get the truck into the alley.

    The only time you see anyone typically blocking an alley is if they are moving. Even then they seem to swing the truck east and away from the alley and under the EL.