Because of recent complaints concerning trash and recycling receptacles being placed on others’ property in the city of Russellville, the city is looking into an amendment to prohibit this type of behavior.
City attorney Niel Kerr read an amendment he drafted at the Tuesday, Feb. 18 city council meeting. The amendment restricts the placement of garbage, refuge, and recycling receptacles on private property, with all violators being given a warning first and a citation and fine to follow. Another issue that may be tacked onto the amendment in the future concerns citizens leaving their receptacles out on the curb to long.
“It’s a pretty narrow amendment,” said Kerr, telling the council he can add whatever they wish to it. Right now the amendment just says you cannot place your receptacle on other people’s property. You should not put it on someone’s premises that’s not your own without written permission.
Kerr said he tried to think ahead for good Samaritans who may want to help out their neighbor and cause the receptacle to be put where it is not supposed to be, so he put in an exception where it can be returned to its proper place.
Kerr said he added language creating a new fine for placing receptacles on someone else’s property. Anyone found guilty of violating the ordinance upon first complaint will receive a warning from the code enforcement officer. If the violation is not abated within 24 hours, the code enforcement officer shall issue a citation for the violation with a fine of $50 for the first offense, $100 for second and $200 for the third.
The idea of citizens leaving their receptacles out longer than they have to is something that the council is hopeful can be taken care of with public education, instead of placing in an amendment.
“Sometimes it’s just public education,” said councilwoman Sandra Kinser, adding that maybe some of the council could go on the radio and talk about the subject. “It’s just a reminder to people.”
Kinser said although she doesn’t like the receptacle being out on the curb for a lengthy time, she worries about putting specifics into an ordinance.
“I just think we better be careful what we put into something, being so specific. What if you have to go to the hospital on an emergency?” questioned Kinser. “You know you sometimes don’t think about it.”
Kinser added that sometimes her receptacle sits at the road until she pulls it back, but admitted if it’s freezing or there’s snow or ice, she’s not taking it in, she’s getting in the house.
“I certainly don’t want elderly people out trying to get their receptacles to their house with snow and ice,” said Kinser.
Mayor Mark Stratton said he told Mr. Kerr the amendment was a good starting point and as the council read through it, they could add whatever they wanted to cover it all at one time.
“Maybe it can say take it out the night before, and get it back in the night it was taken up,” said councilman Bill Decker.
Kerr said the second reading of the amendment would be the same unless he was otherwise directed.