PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto says he’s looking at what the city might be able to do to help frustrated residents in Hazelwood.

There are rats and heaping piles of trash at Pittsburgh Recycling Services. The company has filed for bankruptcy, so no one is cleaning the site up.

Mayor Peduto says he’ll discuss with Chief City Operations Officer Guy Costa the possibility of baiting the surrounding streets to try to help with the rats.

“Working to bait the area around it for rodents on the public property itself,” said Mayor Peduto.

Both he and City Councilman Corey O’Connor say because it is private property, the city can’t just move in and clean things up.

They’re hoping a bankruptcy court next week will name a new owner who could get the cleanup underway.

If that doesn’t happen, Mayor Peduto says: “If the problem continues, and the court doesn’t make a decision, we may have to take that option [cleaning the property], and then have a lien against the property for the work that we’ve done.”

The mayor says that has happened in similar circumstances in the past.

Neighbors just want something done soon. They say they’re worried warmer weather will make the smell even worse.

“Deplorable, bad, not good, rats coming from the river to get whatever is left over there,” said neighbor Cecelia Jedlicka.

“It’s terrible. It’s disgusting. It’s a safety hazard,” added neighbor Hazel Blackman. “Huge rats, bigger than cats, are walking up Second Avenue at night.”

A rally to draw attention to the problem is planned for Friday morning.

Hazelwood Residents Unhappy With Rats From Abandoned Recycling Plant (5/1/14)
More Hazelwood News
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David Highfield