Rows of trash bags on the curb of some of the city’s older multi-family developments are about to disappear. Because if they don’t, the city will start enforcing fines every time residents fail to comply with new trash-removal laws.

The city has adopted new regulations that allow the public service director to begin regulating waste removal of certain multi-family developments. City Council on July 18 amended a section of the city code that gives the director the authority to start enforcing waste removal for the new automated services.

“This requires multi-family developments to have dumpsters with the change in the collection process (of waste),” said Mayor Dennis Clough during the council meeting, where the amendment was approved unanimously.

The amendment allows the director to fine violators up to $750 if requirements for the new automated service are not met. The city has given developments a Sept. 1, 2020, deadline to comply with the new policy. Paul J. Quinn, the city’s public service director, said the city will begin mailing notices to them by Aug 1.

“The ones that we’re really focusing on are developments that were built many years ago and didn’t put a dumpster location for their residents,” Quinn said. “How they handled that was by placing their trash in large piles for our service trucks to pick up.”

Duplexes and triplexes won’t be affected by the regulations and will be allowed to use containers for their trash instead of dumpsters.

This is a drastic change because prior to the amendment, the city couldn’t regulate waste removal from certain developments.

“Our law department made a determination that when development plans were approved by the planning commission many years ago, they had a set of requirements for the city to provide service to them in terms of refuse and recycling,” Quinn said. “They weren’t required at the time to put dumpsters in. The law department said that the laws were (grandfathered in) and we couldn’t require them to do so.”

In May, council approved a $14 million, eight-year contract extension with Rumpke Waste and Recycling of Cincinnati to collect the city’s trash. The contract also switched to automated pickup, in which trucks use an automated arm to lift trash and recycling containers into the truck.

The city will deliver new waste-removal containers to residents at no cost starting Monday, while automated removal is set to begin Aug 1.

Quinn believes these new regulations will allow the city to address concerns regarding the smell and danger of littering due to trash bags piled up on city streets by developments without dumpsters. He also believes these regulations will prevent pests from getting in and creating a mess for residents.

“My job is to help improve the quality of citizens’ lives in Westlake,” Quinn said. “Being able to address the concerns of the people and being able to make the town look better is a great thing.”

Contact this reporter at akamczyc@westlifenews.com or 440-871-5797.

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