Liverpool Council Set to Tackle
‘Rat Epidemic’ Caused by Rubbish

People who ignore the rubbish rules that keep vermin away from bins are being targeted as part of Liverpool council’s plans to deal with the city’s rat epidemic.

The £6 million plans will focus on the narrow alleyways in the city, where rats are most commonly found because of people dumping rubbish. Rubbish, especially food scraps are like a free buffet for rats, seagulls, and insects and this poses a significant environmental and human health risk as they can carry some nasty diseases like E coli and Salmonella.  

Around 60,000 properties that back on to alleyways could be subject to more scrutiny as the council says that it needs the support of the public to keep the alleyways clear. The council said it is looking at potential sanctions and measures it can use against people who consistently flout the rules around correct and responsible waste disposal.

A local councillor said that the rat problem has been caused by poor quality housing, the poor condition of some of the city’s alleyways, and problems with waste disposal. He called on residents to be part of the solution, not the problem, and he added that even if a few people continue to leave their waste in the alleyways, then the council would not be able to solve the rat problem.

Plans being considered include repairing some of the alleyways so that rats can’t live in the gaps around them, introducing communal waste points with larger bins to tackle the problem of black bin bags being left in the street for days at a time, and making it easier for people who live in terraced housing to have their bins collected. The council said it will work with residents to reduce the amount of waste left in the alleyways between collections, encourage them to recycle more of their waste, and help them to treat their local area with respect so it’s a nice place to live and work. Council officers will also be talking to residents to get their opinion on how their local area can be improved.