Niles council, residents discuss dumpsters
NILES — City Council passed an ordinance 4-3 Wednesday regulating dumpsters on residential and commercial properties, leaving some business owners questioning how much it will cost them and whether the new law will stand as a deterrent to other small-business owners looking to set up shop in the city.
The dumpster ordinance requires a one-time $250 permit for commercial dumpsters used for six months or longer, and a $5 permit for temporary residential dumpsters on properties for 30 days or less.
No permit is required for residential dumpsters used for 10 days or less.
The ordinance also regulates the placement of commercial and residential dumpsters and requires the receptacles to be out of view or in an enclosed area.
Violators can be penalized with a misdemeanor of the fourth degree and incur additional fines and penalties in court.
The city already had an ordinance on the books, created nearly a decade ago, requiring dumpsters to be behind a fence,
Law Director Terry Swauger said. However, when the original law was created, existing businesses were excluded from compiling with the law, Swauger said.
“They were specifically exempted,” Swauger said.
“It’s been eight or nine years now and council has decided they want everyone to do this to keep the dumpsters from being out in the open.”
If a dumpster is behind a building and not visible from the street, no fence or enclosure is needed, Swauger said.
Several residents and business owners questioned the creation of a dumpster ordinance, whether the city will be required to follow the law for its own dumpsters, and whether requiring businesses to enclose dumpsters will create and expensive and unnecessary burden.
Others asked if the material some might use to enclose dumpsters would wind up being more unsightly than the dumpster itself, or whether those wishing to skirt the regulation might opt for multiple trash cans instead of a dumpster.
Craig Callow, a retired Weathersfield police officer and owner of Callow Waterproof, 1115 Olive St., said the requirement to enclose dumpsters is something he totally disagrees with.
Callow said he already spends about $2,000 a year for the dumpster on his property and it will cost him around $2,000 to put up a fence around it with a gate.
“I totally disagree with this matter here today, and I think you would too if you were a business owner in my shoes,” Callow said.
Wanda Burns, a Weathersfield resident, complained about the dumpsters located on city property behind the safety service building that are placed there by the county.
“The dumpster back here that does recycling is horrid almost every day of the week,” Burns said.
“I took boxes down there and was astounded at how awful it was. We don’t take care of our own buildings and our own things and yet we want to impose things on everyone else.”