CHICAGO (CBS) – Trash cans overflowing and rats scurrying through the alleys.

A Portage Park woman said it’s an ongoing problem on her block and despite numerous calls to the city of Chicago for help, nothing has been done.

Until now.

CBS 2’s Tim McNicholas showed up and got results. It’s a story seen only on CBS 2.

It’s a field day for flies. And a nightmare for Jessica Marcotte. She lives in one of the many apartment buildings at Laramie and Cullom.

“It’s frustrating, especially for people who have to work and go to school. They really don’t have time at home a lot. They wanna come home to a clean environment,” Marcotte said.

She and her neighbors said some of the renters in the area are careless with their trash, and the landlords and the city aren’t cracking down. Marcotte said due to all the trash, she sees rats in the area daily.

Marcotte reported the rats to 311 about a month ago, but the rats keep coming.

“I think fines should be given out more than they are,” she said.

CBS 2 showed up and started making calls to the city.

Less than an hour later, a streets and sanitation truck arrived and cleaned up the biggest pile. According to Marcotte, it had been there since Sunday.

New Ald. Jim Gardiner (45th) told the residents they were getting a written warning. He told them next time, there could be a fine. And they told him the trash was there because they had recently cleaned out their garage.

“The issue seems to happen more in the summertime. Especially when people are doing work or moving,” Marcotte said.

She added that she’s happy to see something done and she hopes the alderman keeps an eye on the alley and also reaches out to the landlords.

“It’s frustrating when you come to walk the dog and you go to throw the poop in your garbage and there’s like garbage everywhere, you know?”

CBS 2 tried reaching some of the residents who were warned by the alderman. They didn’t answer the door after the alderman left. CBS 2 also followed up with a message to the alderman’s office to see if he got in touch with the landlord. He has yet to respond.

Tim McNicholas’ story started with a tip from a viewer. If you know anything CBS 2 should check out, send an email to 

Tim McNicholas