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Get Your Free Rodent-Resistant Trash Can at Fort Greene 'Rat Academy'

 CB2 and the city's health department will host a
CB2 and the city's health department will host a "Rat Academy" on Jan. 14.
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FORT GREENE — The first step to disposing of your rat problem could be as easy as getting a new trash bin.

Community Board 2 and the city’s Health Department have organized a “Rat Academy” where they will hand out free rodent-resistant garbage cans in response to mounting complaints about the whiskered pests in the neighborhood.

“We’ve literally had people crying on the phone because of the rats in their yards,” said Carol-Ann Church, a district office staff member.

Church said most of the calls came from residents in Fort Greene who live between Atlantic Avenue and Fulton Street from St. Felix Street to Carlton Avenue, near the neighborhood’s cultural district.

“People complain that when they get home they have to make a lot of noise to scare the rats away,” Church said.

The "Rat Academy" will be held Jan. 14 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Art New York, at 138 South Oxford St.

To receive one of the vermin-resistant bins, which are heavy-duty, high-necked garbage cans with locking lids, residents must RSVP by noon on Jan. 12.

The session will also teach homeowners, tenants, maintenance workers, community garden managers and management companies safe and effective methods to combat rodents.

Residents can get a head start by following these guidelines from the Health Department:

Clean up: Garbage and clutter give rats a place to hide.

► Store all garbage in hard plastic rat-resistant containers with lids. Rats eat your garbage.

► Provide enough trash containers for all of the occupants of your building. Any exposed trash will attract rats.

► Keep landscaped areas around your property free of tall weeds and trim shrubs that are close to the ground.

► Check for cracks or holes in the foundation of your building, sidewalk, and under doors and repair them by filling and sealing them.

To RSVP, email cachurch@cb.nyc.gov or call 718-596-5410.