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Wednesday, Oct. 24, 2007 07:08 pm

Less than perfect

Some reforms in new trash ordinance

Untitled Document It’s not the perfect answer, says Ward 6 Ald. Mark Mahoney, but the new trash ordinance passed by the City Council on Tuesday is good first step.      The new ordinance, effective April 1, 2008, continues the current system of free yard-waste pickup in April and November, with $1.50 stickers mandatory for pickup during the rest of the year. Waste haulers must now also pick up bags without stickers, but they are allowed to directly bill residents $2 per bag the second time bags are set out without them.      Mahoney worked for the removal of the yard-waste-sticker system, calling it confusing and ineffective, and instead proposed assigning the responsibility to the city. In the end, he says, the council was not behind him.  
     At Tuesday’s meeting, Ward 2 Ald. Gail Simpson supported Mahoney by proposing an amendment to establish city-funded yard-waste pickup, but it was struck down after Mayor Tim Davlin said that the service would consume the bulk of the city’s available funds. For this reason, Simpson says, she voted against the entire ordinance, along with Ward 3 Ald. Frank Kunz and Ward 4 Ald. Frank Lesko. “It doesn’t go far enough,” Simpson says. “Citizens shouldn’t have to worry about garbage and yard waste.”
Among some of the new ordinance’s other provisions: · Mandates that garbage be left for pickup in an alley unless the resident lives in an area without alleys. · Requires waste haulers to provide monthly reports listing their customers’ addresses. · Requires residents who do not have garbage service to sign up by April 2008 or face $250-a-month fines. · Holds landlords responsible for garbage service. The trash ordinance also will establish a city garbage commission in December 2008. “I’m satisfied that we took a step,” Mahoney says. “I know some think the ordinance doesn’t go far enough, but in a year we’ll see how it works and go from there.”

Contact Amanda Robert at arobert@illinoistimes.com.
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