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Waste bin trashers in N. Logan can be fined $1,000, council says

September 8th, 2012 Posted in Opinion

By Jessica Sonderegger

NORTH LOGAN—An ordinance revision passed unanimously Wednesday night by the City Council could result in a $1,000 fine for those who abuse the city-owned waste receptacles.

“This is why,” said City Administrator Jeff Jorgensen, displaying a picture taken recently of a bulk green-waste container, overflowing with and surrounded by cardboard boxes.

City Ordinance 12-06 says “placing green waste materials or any other refuse on the ground around the bulk green waste containers is prohibited by the city’s littering ordinances,” including all city-owned waste bins.

According to the council’s most recent revisions: “Any person who shall violate any provision of this chapter shall be guilty of a Class B misdemeanor for each day that the violation occurs.”

Concerned about the unpleasant sight as well as the aroma of an overflowing city Dumpster, Public Works Director Alan Luce voiced his disgust with the current state of untidiness.

“It actually starts smelling like a landfill out there,” Luce said, explaining the city’s struggle to empty the bins quickly enough. He later explained the inconveniencing effects of even just one offense. “This sets a precedent for other residents, who may not be as familiar with the rules regarding the bins. Before long, there is a large area of green waste and refuse surrounding the bins.”

“These are for North Logan residents,” Jorgensen said, “but they can’t overfill it.”

The city is responsible for determining an efficient cleanup, with few options and no one identifiable guilty party.

Mayor Lloyd Berentzen proposed updating the surveillance equipment to better determine the culprits of misuse. Council members estimated the cost of new equipment to be about $4,000, something the mayor argued would be “worth the investment.”

Councilwoman Kristen Andersen initially challenged the ordinance revisions, concerned by sustaining a “blanket solution” that doesn’t necessarily apply to all situations. “It feels like this is very harsh in some circumstances,” she said, “but very appropriate in others.”

Councilwoman Nancy Potter suggested considering community service as an alternative to the proposed fine, though agreeing that the threat of a Class B misdemeanor “puts some teeth in it.”

Berentzen concluded that police officers will be responsible for issuing citations, and ultimately the final punishment will be at the discretion of a judge.

Ordinance 12-06, paragraph 13D-119 will be available online at northlogan.org within the week.


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