CLEVELAND-- A few months after the FOX 8 I-Team revealed an illegal dumpsite on the east side of the city, the Cleveland Department of Health is taking action to clean up the premises.
The warehouse is located near E. 166th and Wayside and residents living nearby said large rats have been plaguing the area since trash started getting dumped on the property.
“You come home and you see two or three of them run across the street; it’s just unbearable,” said resident Christina Sloan. “You know, you can’t even sleep because you don’t know where they at!”
Charles Clayton said many people living on Burnside Avenue have called the city to report the problem. “I think they found 10 or 12 rats in the middle of the road that got ran over, trying to get over here from the dump,” said Clayton.
Some residents have taken extreme steps to protect their homes, like surrounding the foundation with wire mesh and placing rat poison on the property. “They’re able to get in anywhere, any little hole, crack, crevice. You don’t know where it’s at, but they’ll find it,” said Sloan.
“It’s horrible. It’s more than sad; it’s horrible. It’s outrageous really,” said another neighbor.
This week, the city health department announced plans to bait the rodents while continuing to clean up what it considers an ‘illegal’ dumpsite.
Karen Butler, the department director, said it can’t be tolerated anymore. “That is the last we would want for any of our residents,” said Butler. “We wanna make sure the conditions that people live in are healthy and safe and we will do whatever we need to do in order to ensure that.”
Health inspectors are also passing out information with guidelines on who to call for help.
According to Butler, the city took criminal action against the property owner. “We’re working very closely with the housing court and, as a matter of fact, there was a very substantial fine levied against that owner for allowing the situation to progress to that level,” said Butler.
Anyone with a question or concern for the City of Cleveland Department of Public Health can call (216) 664-2300.