Composting lot is causing a rodent infestation for East Side neighbors


    (Photo: SBG San Antonio)

    SAN ANTONIO - Some East Side neighbors say they're being dumped on by a woman using a vacant lot for trash.

    People in Denver Heights say the woman who owns the lot is paid by businesses to collect food scraps that are then buried in the lot.

    The problem is there's now an infestation of rats and other rodents.

    News 4 San Antonio turned to Metro Health about the complaints.

    A spokesperson says there are currently no laws that prevent leaving food out on residential property.

    "I've seen them and had to kill them."

    A neighborhood under siege.

    "They're big rats," said Robert Spruell Sr.

    Rats and other rodents are roaming under the cover of darkness in Denver Heights.

    "I've set out big traps and everything else," Spruell said.

    Robert Spruell says the problem started when a vacant lot at 219 Utah Street was purchased and used for composting.

    That's the process of burying and recycling food waste like scraps of meat, fruit and vegetables to create nutrient rich soil.

    Spruell says the owner told him she's in partnership with North Side businesses.

    "At the restaurants they pay her to come and get their scraps and she buries it in the ground and it's created an enormous rodent problem," Spruell said.

    Another neighbor said off camera that large amounts of cooking grease are also being recycled.

    "30 to 45 gallon containers that she dumps," Spruell said. "She puts them in the back of her truck or trailer and dumps them."

    Spruell reached out to Metro Health.

    "They felt it's her property she can do what she wants but for the community she didn't ask, she didn't tell no one what she was doing," Spruell said.

    A spokesperson for Metro Health and found residential properties are governed by different rules when compared to restaurants and other businesses.

    "They'll spray for mosquitoes but they won't come out for the rats," Spruell said. "They can't spray they can't put traps out, they can't do anything."

    City of San Antonio Code Enforcement is investigating for possible violations.

    If you have a similar problem you're asked to file a complaint by dialing 311.

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