Amsterdam is toughening up its garbage collection law with changes that include a fine as high as $500 for violations that aren’t corrected.
Additions to the city’s ordinance also change the way residents will be charged to get rid of tires, electronic equipment, refrigerators and furniture.
The Common Council last week approved the measure and set a public hearing for Tuesday, 7:10 p.m. at City Hall.
Changes include adding language to identify “special refuse,” items that have to be separated from the waste stream such as tires and electronics.
Fees, approved in January, range from $3 for a car tire up to $30 for a television console with a tube-style TV in it. An automatic billing process is being established to charge people the fee in addition to the current user fee any time a bulk or specialty item like an old washer or dryer is placed on the curb.
Amsterdam 4th Ward Alderman William Wills said he voted to approve the law in haste but now is changing his thoughts. Wills said he prefers the city get paid before collecting the items, as is done now, than trying to collect later.
Fifth Ward Alderman Richard Leggiero, who voted against the ordinance, said he doesn’t believe it will change anything for the better. “I didn’t see anything wrong with the old system. It’s going to create more work,” he said.
Leggiero said it will likely set up disputes from people who get charged for things found on the curb side they didn’t put there. Under the new ordinance, items will be picked up automatically and a bill will be sent to a resident with the assumption they are requesting it be picked up. If the bill isn’t paid in 30 days it will be sent to the property owner and then a lien will be placed on the property.
The ordinance requires garbage be stored behind the property line of the building by 6 p.m. on the day of collection.
The law establishes a penalty of 15 days in jail, a $250 fine or both if residents who were already warned within the past 12 months continue to violate parts of the ordinance like leaving trash outside before 3 p.m. the day before collection, or not bringing the trash cans in by 6 p.m.
The new law creates an “order to remedy violation” with an even more severe fine — $500 or 15 days in jail or both — if any issue is not corrected as specified in the order.
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Categories: Schenectady County