PEABODY — One city councilor is taking a big picture look at two of the biggest issues in the city, rats and trash.
Over the past several months, the council’s had several conversations about trash and recycling, especially the need for larger recycling bins with lids, and rodents and other pests.
Now, Ward 1 Councilor Jon Turco is requesting that Sharon Cameron, the city’s health director, come before the council to discuss the public health benefits of covered trash bins.
The request comes on the heels of Cameron updating the council on an increased number of rat and rodent sightings throughout the city in the past year.
Cameron said the increase in rat population is a growing national problem, but that there have been more reports of rats in Peabody.
“In 2017, there has been a significant increase in the number of complaints in the city, especially in the more densely populated parts of the city,” said Cameron.
Turco noted that the increase in rodent complaints is not just a problem in Peabody, but one across the state and the nation.
Among the factors that lead to potential rodent infestations are untended vegetable gardens, bird feeders, and trash. Cameron said the rodents will go where there is food.
That information from Cameron and a consultant from the city’s pest control company, A1 Pest Control, led to Turco’s request that Cameron come back to the council to provide more information on the benefits of covered trash bins.
City officials are still waiting to get more information from its trash and recycling hauler, JRM Hauling and Recycling, about possible plans to provide the city with larger, covered recycling bins.
The 18-gallon, uncovered recycling bins currently in use were provided to residents more than a decade ago. The amount of recyclable materials that blow out of the bins and onto city streets on collection days has been a cause of consternation for a number of residents and city councilors.