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D.C. Steps Up Rat Abatement Program

In recent years, D.C. has seen an increase in rodent activity, which is believed to be a result of warmer winters.

Last year, the number of 311 requests for rodent abatement increased by 65 percent from 2,300 in 2015 to more than 3,500 in 2016.

Over the years, officials have taken a comprehensive approach to rodent control that includes: community outreach, surveys, abatement, enforcement, and cooperation between multiple D.C. agencies.

This year, the city launched the Commercial Waste Compactor Grant, which will make it easier for D.C. businesses to purchase or lease a commercial compactor for their trash, recyclables or compost.

City workers also strategically deployed 25 solar trash cans and 400 smart-litter bins at rat hot spots around the District. Both the solar trash cans and the smart-litter bins are helping use technology to more effectively manage trash throughout the city, officials said.

Additionally, through a new collaboration between the Office of the Chief Technology Officer and the Lab @ DC, the city is developing models that will help the Department of Health more proactively inspect and manage infestations before they worsen.

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