Rats and rubbish collections

Rodents and collection operatives

Our borough is as susceptible to rodents as anywhere else in the country.

We work hard to reduce the number of rodents. We also take our workers' health and safety seriously if they risk coming into contact with rodents during their duties. This includes SUEZ collection operatives who:

  • are not legallly allowed to collect recycling and rubbish from refuse storage areas if they see rats or mice, or see evidence of rats or mice, such as droppings, burrowing or gnawing
  • will report evidence of rodent activity to Environmental Services
  • will not be allowed to collect recycling and rubbish from the refuse storage area until there is proof that the area has been treated

While your refuse storage area is being treated to remove rats or mice, you can use mixed recycling banks for recycling and/or take bags of rubbish to Western Riverside Reuse and Recycling centre at Smugglers Way, Wandsworth, SW18 1JS.

Environmental Services

Environmental Services provide treatment to remove rodents in refuse storage areas if the freeholder and their family are the sole residents in the property. 

If the freeholder receives housing benefit or council tax benefit the service is free of charge.

If the property is rented accommodation (including RSL property) the responsibility for ensuring the rodents are eradicated rests with the landlord or the managing agents.

To help residents and landlords deal with the problems rats and mice cause, Environmental Services offer a chargeable service to eradicate rodents in or on private property. A pest contract to deal with rodents in a refuse storage area or house can cost as little as £500 per year (dependent upon the size of the area, number of dwellings in the building and the complexity of the problem).

How to discourage rats and mice

It's an offence to have a rodent infestation in or on your property and do nothing about it. Please remember that rats are everybody’s problem and we can all play a part in keeping them out of the borough.

Rats and mice search for food and places where they can live and breed. To discourage them:

  • store your rubbish in a metal container with a tight fitting lid
  • make sure your refuse storage area (if you have one) has a secure door with no small gaps for a rat or mouse to squeeze through - mice can squeeze through a gap as small as 5mm
  • put out your recycling and rubbish onto the street for collection only on the scheduled collection day

Tenants’ duties

If you are a tenant you need to contact your landlord or managing agent if you know that:

  • there are rodents in your property or in the refuse storage area
  • waste collections have been suspended at the premises 

You should also contact Environmental Services on 020 7361 3002.

Landlords' responsibilities

If you know that your property is infested with rats, mice or other sorts of pests you are legally obliged to take immediate action to deal with the problem. Call in the services of a qualified pest control professional to advise you about what needs to be done to eradicate the pests and to prevent re-infestation.

If the infestation is in the refuse storage area make sure:

  • the area is thoroughly cleared of refuse and other items that may be stored there
  • your residents have suitable storage bins (metal and with close-fitting lids) for their rubbish
  • there are enough bins

Environmental Services:

  • investigate all SUEZ referals to make sure landlords take appropriate action to eradicate rodents and prevent re-infestation
  • will serve an enforcement notice if a landlord doesn't take appropriate action
  • charge a landlord the costs for any works they take out in default including administration and legal costs