Proposed city law requires trash cans

GLOVERSVILLE – The Common Council is considering requiring residents to put their garbage in trash cans on pickup days.

Currently, residents either put their garbage in trash cans or bags at the curb.

The proposed requirement is among seven new city ordinance changes under review by the council.

The council will hold a public hearing on the proposed changes during the April 26 council meeting.

Third Ward Councilman Vince DeSantis said the changes were worked out during blight committee meetings.

DeSantis said most of the changes are fine-tuning existing ordinances and clarifying timelines for requirements such as snow removal.

He said the idea behind requiring trash cans is to make neighborhoods look neater and cleaner.

“The problem that we’re having is that people put their trash out and squirrels and cats and birds break the bags apart and we have a mess,” he said. “Generally, it’s a pretty messy, untidy, unsanitary situation. A lot of times, the trash gets strewn around by animals and it blows around up the street and it stays there forever.”

Mayor Dayton King estimates about half of the city residents use trash cans already.

The garbage ordinance would be changed to mandate up to four 32-gallon trash containers be allowed per building. Additional containers would require a fee of $120 per container per year. DeSantis said people who obtain more than four containers would be given a sticker for each additional container.

The ordinance would require either white or clear trash bags in the cans. Garbage cans would need to be removed from the curb by 7 a.m. the day after trash pickup.

Building owners are responsible for compliance with the law regardless of whether they live in the building. Violators would be subject to a $50 fee.

The city previously considered passing a law requiring trash cans in 2010, but ended the idea after council members said they didn’t think the legislation was ready.

DeSantis said he understands there will be some resistance to the change because people are used to being able to put out trash in bags only.

DeSantis said the blight committee recommended the change believe having neater, cleaner streets could lead to more private investments.

“We’re trying to make the city more attractive for people coming in,” DeSantis said. “We’re hoping to make it clear to people that it’s everybody’s responsibility to keep things clean. Everybody benefits when the city’s more attractive to new people moving in.”

King said he expects the requirement may not be easy to enforce, but that shouldn’t deter the city from doing what’s right.

King said he understands there may be concerns with people who can’t carry trash cans to the curb. He said people in those situations have options, such as asking family members or neighbors for help.

King said he understands some people may be concerned with their trash cans being damaged by vehicles or during garbage collection. He said if that happens, he encourages people to contact him or the Department of Public Works to discuss the issue.

Other ordinance changes include clarifying guidelines for snow removal or lawn mowing.

DeSantis said if problems are not resolved by the owner within 72 hours, the city will take care of the matter and bill the property owner. If the owner does not pay the fines, the charges will be added to the owner’s tax bill.

Some of the ordinance changes also remove sections to get rid of redundancies in the language.

To see the proposed ordinance changes, go to:

Kerry Minor covers Gloversville. She can be reached at [email protected].

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