Mayor Jon Mitchell announced today that the City will provide a one month extension (until the end of October 2014) to the warning period for violations for some of the recently enacted ordinance changes and regulations associated with the City’s new automated trash and recycling collection program. This extended warning period follows several months during which the City has not cited residents for such violations but rather it has been educating them on how to properly set out trash and recyclables and avoid fines. The extended warning period is only in effect for violations that are new to the City and pertain to recycling and the use of the automated collection containers (“carts”) for trash and recycling set outs. However, all other types of violations that result from non-compliance with longstanding trash rules and regulations will continue to be enforced with fines, beyond an initial warning for a first offense. These infractions include TV’s, computer monitors, and white goods left out for collection without a scheduled appointment; trash and recycling out too early; messy, uncontained set-outs; and larger than allowed quantities of trash set out (“move out piles”).
“Clearly the new program has been a great success overall, and has resulted in huge increases in recycling and significant reductions in refuse brought to the Crapo Hill Landfill,” said Mayor Mitchell. “Our ultimate goal is compliance, and we have seen more and more compliance each month. That said, some residents are still adjusting to the new program, and we think they will benefit from some additional time to come into full compliance with the new rules.”
City officials report that compliance with the new system has increased steadily since the program launched on June 23rd, and that the vast majority of city residents have made the transition without any problem. They do note, however, that some residents require additional education and outreach about what is and is not allowed under the new rules.
Over the next 30 days, the Health Department will continue to issue warnings and educate residents and property owners about how to comply with the new regulations in order to avoid fines and penalties. The new regulations include a graduated fine schedule for repeat offenses, up to and including suspension from the City’s curbside collection program.
“It’s clear by the level of cooperation and compliance we have reached in the city that this program is user-friendly, and we see from the data that it is on track to achieve its principle aims of increasing recycling and extending the life of the landfill,” said DFFM Commissioner Ken Blanchard. “With a little more time and public outreach, we’re confident we’ll get to virtually universal compliance by year’s end.”
New regulations specific to downtown commercial collection will begin to be fully enforced upon adoption of the new regulations on October 1. Among other rules, downtown commercial trash customers must set their trash out between the hours of 3:00 AM and 8:00AM; it must be contained in an approved receptacle; and receptacles must be removed from the sidewalk by 11:00 AM.
The City of New Bedford Solid Waste and Recycling Ordinance informational flyer is available here: Solid Waste and Recycling Ordinance Informational Flyer. The ordinances describe how property owners and occupants must comply with the program and outline the fee schedule for failing to comply with the solid waste and recycling collection ordinances. For more information about the program and associated regulations, please call the Department of Facilities and Fleet Management at (508) 979-1520.
Tips to properly set out trash and recyclables and avoid fines:
- Do not overfill the carts. The cart lids must be fully closed.
- Recycle loose clean bottles, cans, jugs, jars, paper and cardboard together in the cart with the orange lid. Do not put trash, food, clothing, plastic bags, plastic wrap, or Styrofoam into the recycling carts. List of Recyclable Materials
- Do not set out regular barrels, blue bins or bags curbside.
- Do not put your cart out earlier than 5:00 P.M. on the day before your scheduled collection day.
- Call ABC Disposal at (508) 999-2619 to schedule a bulky item pickup.