How Portland Lives With, Not Against, Its Rats

To understand the rats around you, look in the mirror. Every human society determines how rats live among them. Portland, Oregon, made choices early in its history that have resulted in a more benign relationship between people and rats than most cities enjoy. The founders of Portland seem to have understood that the life of a city is shaped by how it deals with the garbage it creates. As far back as 1890, residents sorted their garbage (into burnable and non-burnable) and scolded each other for not doing it right.