ABOVE: The boom in the rat population around the Burrard Street Bridge is being blamed on the compost bins. Rumina Daya reports.
Thanks to some community garden compost bins, a Vancouver YMCA daycare could use the services of the legendary rat-catcher, the Pied Piper of Hamelin.
The Little Beach YMCA Child Care, which is located just off Beach Avenue and Burrard Street, had to shut down their outdoor playground due to a rat infestation.
According to YMCA communications manager Kelly Walker, the rat infestation was discovered near compost bins installed near a community garden on Thursday night.
Walker says they notified the City of Vancouver and closed the playground since the rats posed a health and safety issue for their preschool program participants.
The city responded first on Friday and then on Tuesday, by sending a crew and pest control team to the clean up the site, remove the bins, exterminate and set traps.
But as of today, there are still dozens of rats hanging around the area. The daycare has now been closed for four days.
Albert Shamessm, director of waste management for the city, says they will be sending out another crew later today to clean the site again and fully exterminate the area.
“I think it’s more of an aesthetic risk than it is a health risk,” he said. “I think there could be a risk of the kids getting bitten so I think it’s prudent for the Y to keep the kids away but we’re not at risk of any disease transmission from my understanding from Vancouver Coastal Health.”