By Frank Lewis
New Boston Village Administrator Steve Hamilton says because of the cost of taking trash to the transfer station, the cost of personnel and the cost of fuel, he is prepared to begin enforcing ordinances dealing with the disposal of garbage and trash and household items left in alleys and on curbs.
“I’ve got to go by the ordinance book because I’m getting so many complaints,” Hamilton said.
Hamilton told the Daily Times he will put into action a series of moves he will make to curb the problem.
“The first thing I do is, I’ve got a door hanger that I put on their door,” Hamilton said. “The second thing I’ll do is give them a letter, and the third thing is, I’m going to start summoning those people to court.”
Garbage is defined in the ordinance as – “all refuse, or the receptacles thereof, except containers authorized by this chapter, also rags, waste paper, floor sweepings and other combustible refuse.” Rubbish is – “cartons, boxes, old lumber, sticks, dead trees or tree branches thereof, other waste matter of a combustible character. Trash is ashes, grass and weeds which are not reasonably dry and all other materials which are noncombustible and have not contained or do not contain matter which might provide food for rodents or vermin.”
There are several things being done by both homeowners and landlords who are responsible for handling their trash that are breaking the village’s ordinances.
One of the issues deals with garbage containers. Maybe you didn’t know but in the village there are specifications as to how you put your garbage out for pickup.
“They shall not exceed 35 gallons in capacity, and shall be kept or placed where they can be conveniently reached by the collector,” the ordinance reads. It goes on to say – “Small amounts of brush may be bagged and/or tied with twine and placed out with the garbage. Tree limbs and brush must be bundled and tied in lengths of no more than four feet and weigh no more than 50 pounds.”
Hamilton said another issue is people having contractors do work on their houses then leaving the contractor material out for the village to pick up when they don’t even have a permit to do the work to begin with.
“You don’t call into the village about asking about a permit to do residential work,” Hamilton said. “You come in and get the permit. From now on you don’t call in here and ask if you need one. Our ordinances say if you do any work to upgrade your house, you come in and get a building permit just like any other municipality.”
Hamilton said in April of this year he handed out a flyer that contained the ordinance on garbage including the size of can required and that the can must have a lid. He said he understands that sometimes wind blows lids away, but the problem is maintaining the garbage in plastic bags inside the proper size cans.
“This morning a landlord let some people move in a house and they threw everything out into the street that was left over (from previous tenants) and there was molded sheet rock and it was just thrown out there,” Hamilton said. “I can’t really send the tenant a bill. I’ve got to send the land owner the bill.”
Hamilton said, with rental property at a high level in New Boston, when somebody is evicted from such property, all of the items removed from the property ends up in the alley or in front for village employees to pick up.
One of the factors involved in the measures Hamilton is taking is the dump fees at the transfer station. The price the village pays for dumping at the transfer station is now $53 a ton, up $20 over the last year.
Hamilton was complimentary of home-owners and landlords who know the proper way of handling those situations.
“They’ll call in and say – ‘Mr. Hamilton do you have a dumpster you can bring up and drop off and how much is it?’” Hamilton said. “I’ve got a set price for that but 80 percent of the time they’re just throwing it out there.”
Hamilton said the price of delivering a dumpster or a truck to property where things are being thrown out is $50. He said that includes delivering the dumpster or truck and picking it up and taking the debris to the transfer station. The person is also charged the dump fee. If he has to pick it up and bring it back for more, he charges an additional $25.
“I’ve got to get with the council and the mayor to see what is the best to do,” Hamilton said.
Other issues include people who collect metal for scrap. What is left after the metal has been extracted is often left for workers to pick up. One example is box springs, where the metal springs are extracted and the rest is left. He said he is also noticing people from outside the village dropping things off in the village because they know their private sanitation server will not pick them up.
Several other problems exist within the village including people not cutting the grass and weeds on their sidewalks and curbs. Hamilton reminded area residents they are responsible for the sidewalks and curbs in front of their property.
“I want to try to get this village back to where it looks good when you drive down an alley or when you drive down Glenwood Avenue,” Hamilton said.
Bottom line, according to the ordinance – “Whoever violates any provision of this chapter is guilty of a minor misdemeanor. Each day on which a violation occurs or continues shall be deemed a separate offense.”
Reach Frank Lewis at 740-353-3101, ext. 1928, or on Twitter @franklewis.