Put a lid on it.
That's the basic requirement of a modified garbage law approved Monday by the Lancaster Village Board.
Lancaster residents now have 30 days to comply with the law that requires household waste to be placed in a lidded container instead of just trash bags.
"The goal of the law is to address a growing rat problem," said Mayor William G. Cansdale Jr.
The law was modified Monday to provide exemptions for recycling, appliances and other oversized trash.
"Although a container has to be used, we never said what had to go in it," explained Village Attorney Arthur A. Herdzik.
Rats have easy access to food waste dumped in plastic bags but cannot gnaw through closed trash containers. The adoption of sealed trash totes in the City of Buffalo and other areas has led to a dramatic decline in the rat population.
Lancaster residents will not be required to use standardized wheeled totes, as city residents do, but will have to purchase a sealable trash can if they don't already own one.
Fliers will soon go out to all residents outlining the new requirements, Cansdale said, and enforcement will begin in 30 days.
"We'll begin with some warnings," he said, "and if we have a household that continues to be a problem, I'm sure there will be fines."
Fines of up to $2,500 could be imposed on repeat offenders.