Victoria Council approves trash pickup changes

Melissa Crowe By Melissa Crowe

Jan. 15, 2013 at 11:01 p.m.
Updated Jan. 15, 2013 at 7:16 p.m.

Victoria City Council tossed out an attempt to turn 500 city customers over to Waste Management for their trash collection.

The issue centered on an ordinance intending to beautify the city, but Councilman Paul Polasek pointed out an oversight.

"The problem is the carts are staying on the curb. So a four-plex has eight carts, they never roll them back; they stay there like mini-Dumpsters," Polasek said. "When they're replaced by Waste Management, what's the difference?"

Although Environmental Services Director Darryl Lesak said those carts could be replaced with two- or three-yard commercial Dumpsters, Polasek challenged the suggestion, saying many of the impacted properties do not have space for Dumpsters.

"Where would they put it - the front yard?" he asked.

Once the council amended the ordinance to omit the new three-unit requirement, the ordinance unanimously passed.

Had it passed without that change, the city would have lost about $100,000 in revenue from those customers' trash collection fees, said City Manager Charmelle Garrett.

The ordinance will have a final reading at the Feb. 4 meeting.

"It will remain what it is right now: eight units, that's 16 carts," Lesak said. "We'll take a better look to do what's right for the city and decide what's truly commercial and what's not."

Potentially, a single household can have six carts - three for recycling and three for landfill trash.

"There are places in town with 25 carts lined up on the curb, and they get left out there all week," Lesak said.

He said those abandoned carts can pose a health and safety threat, especially if a child is crossing the street from behind the carts or someone digs through carts left out all week.

The amended ordinance states brush and bulky waste cannot be placed at the curb more than 48 hours before a scheduled collection time.

It also allows the city to remove any waste in violation of city code after a seven-day notice period to the property owner. Any cost associated with the waste removal will be added to the customer's water bill.

Garrett said the goal of that portion is to keep trash picked up when tenants who are moving out dump their trash on the curb.

The ordinance will help code enforcement officers reduce the length of time it takes to remove junk piles that litter neighborhoods.

Lesak said it allows the city to pick up that litter without having permission from the owner.

"A lot of time, that's the problem: finding the actual owner or someone willing to tell us to pick that up and willing to pay any extra charges," he said.



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