City commissioners unanimously approved an updated sanitation ordinance Tuesday that will change various aspects of the City’s collection of solid waste, such as requiring the lid to close on containers as well as imposing fines related to garbage collection, stacking limbs in streets and failure to maintain operating conditions of commercial and industrial containers.
The 5-0 vote established the first amendments made to Public Works’ Garbage and Refuse Collection Service Ordinance since its original enactment in 1995.
Assistant City Manager Lelan Hancock said during a previous meeting that Public Works Director Wayne Shelton and his staff had faced “countless” issues in enforcing proper solid waste removal with individuals over the years.
“The previous ordinance didn’t allow for any type of enforcement,” Hancock said.
According to the updated ordinance, at locations where service issues persist for mobile containers repeatedly not being placed timely at curb, a return for collection will constitute a special collection and a service fee of $25 may be added to the monthly sanitation charge for each return collection required.
A similar fine can be issued for failure to remove the mobile container. If upon a notice of violation the mobile container remains at the curb for 24 hours, a citation shall be issued and a fine of $25 shall be assessed to include an additional administrative service fee of $25 for each violation for a total of fifty dollars $50 for each occurrence cited.
Another change includes a fine for improper residential disposal of limbs and brush. Logs and brush shall not be placed inside mobile containers or bulk containers. Brush shall be prepared with the butt end behind the curb and sidewalk and not in the street.
Stacking limbs and brush on the streets, sidewalks, and medians in strictly prohibited areas can result in notice of violation by code official requiring removal and may result in a citation if uncorrected with a $50 fine or fee assessed per citation.
Residential customers may purchase blue overflow trash bags at City Hall for excess trash. Bags shall be collected on regular sanitation service day. Bags shall be placed four feet from the mobile container and should not exceed 30 pounds in weight for collection.
In an effort to help curb complaints, Public Works also added a special collection procedure.
The updated ordinance creates an implied contract stating that if someone sets materials out on the curb without contacting the sanitation department, they are OK with the department coming by to pick it up.
The ordinance also sets a time limitation of seven days for removal of demolition waste for residential locations.
Fines can also be assessed at commercial and industrial establishments.
Materials shall be placed in the bulk container so that lids close and doors shut. Over-full containers may be subject to a rate of one-and-a-half times the standard rate. No debris shall be placed on top of the container or piled around the container.
Purchased bulk containers shall be properly maintained to include doors, lids, and lift attachments in acceptable operating conditions and remain materially sound. Containers failing to meet these conditions shall be tagged out of service by the sanitation manager and repair or replacement shall be directed to the owner. Failure to remedy shall be a violation of OMU Code, shall be cited by code officials and be subject to a fine of no less than $100 and up to $500 with remedial measures requiring immediate replacement or leasing of a replacement until repaired.