by Terry Rogers
On Monday, July 9, 2018, Milford City Council approved changes to the Solid Waste Ordinance. Changes included the establishment of a Schedule of fees and fines, removing Rules and Regulations from the code, eliminating nuisance fines and reducing the cost of a second trash container.
“Removing Rules and Regulations from the Code would allow the City Manager to handle those issues rather as they must change from time-to-time,” Mark Whitfield, Public Works Director, explained. “In addition, by establishing a Schedule of Fines and Fees, we would allow Council to change the amounts by Resolution rather than requiring a change to the Code.”
Nuisance fines are those that are difficult to collect at the Justice of the Peace Courts, Whitfield explained. These are fines that include leaving a container on the street for an extended period. Rather than issue fines for such violations, the City could allow Public Works to remove the containers from the street and store them. In order for the container to be returned, customers would be required to pay for both the removal and re-delivery in the amount of $70.
“The cost for a second container is much too high,” Whitfield explained. “This is leading to overfilling of containers or customers leaving excess trash next to the container. It does not make sense that the second container costs double what the first container costs.” The cost for residential trash will now be $25 per dwelling unit and additional trash containers will cost $5 per month. Additional yard waste containers will cost $3 per month and additional recycle containers can be provided at no additional charge.
In some cases, businesses may be offered at-door service if it is not feasible for them to leave containers at the curb. In addition, residents who may have disabilities that prevent them from taking their container to the curb may contact the City to arrange for at-door service. The new policy also requires that all downtown containers must be removed from sidewalks by 10 AM. Whitfield stated that the City would have all trash in the downtown area collected by that time.
“One issue we continue to face is contamination in the recycling containers,” Whitfield said. “Now, if we take a recycling load in and it is rejected due to contamination, the customer can be charged for the entire load. This can cost upwards of $1,000. We need to stress the importance of only placing recyclable materials in the recycling cans.”
Councilwoman Katrina Wilson asked Whitfield about the size of the yard waste cans, explaining that many of her constituents complain that the cans are too small if a large amount of yard work is performed. Some place the items next to the can and then are upset when it is not picked up.
“We offer two free bulk item pick-ups each year,” Whitfield said. “It can be any type of bulk item, including yard waste. If a customer is planning to do some major yard work, they can call the City and arrange for a bulk pick up the following week.”
The changes to the solid waste ordinance passed with a vote of 6 to 0.
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