Since Corbin Public Works began its efforts in April to decrease the number of residents who fail to comply with the city’s ordinance detailing how garbage is to be set out at the curb for pickup, officials said the number has been cut in half.
The remaining residents are being given one final “courtesy notice” concerning the ordinance before the city’s code enforcement officer begins issuing citations.
Public Works Director Gary Kelly said that over the last two weeks, he has personally handed out 525 of the written notices at residences, which are not complying.
According to the ordinance, trash is to be placed in bags and then set out in cans up to 32 gallons in size. Each can is to have a secure lid.
“Most of the violations involve people that either don’t have cans or don’t have lids,” Kelly said. “We did condemn a few because the cans are too big.”
Kelly said previously that while the ordinance states that the maximum size of cans is 32 gallons, public works would accept a 35-gallon can because they are more readily available.
Kelly said the first round of notices was sent out in April after it was determined that 1,589 residents were not complying with the ordinance.
“We might hit 600 this time,” Kelly said.
Kelly said he has instructed his garbage crews to ensure that all lids are returned to and affixed back to the cans.
“My guys will snap them on,” Kelly said.
Kelly explained that without the lids, trash may be blown out of the cans, or animals may get into them, strewing the trash throughout the neighborhood.
“My guys have to pick that up,” Kelly said.
In addition, residents are encouraged tether the lids to the cans to ensure they remain together even if the empty cans are blown over by heavy winds.
Kelly said the ordinance also calls for residents to move the cans out to the curb no sooner than the night before pickup and to have them removed by the following day.
“We have some residents that don’t move the cans,” Kelly said.
Kelly said the trash must be placed inside a trash bag before being placed inside the can.
“It is faster and easier for the crews when they can pull the lids off, grab the bags, toss them, snap the lids back on and then on to the next one,” Kelly explained. “It is also more sanitary because my guys have found everything from dog feces to needles just laying in the cans with no bags.”
Code Enforcement Officer Mike Mahan said he would begin issuing citations in January.
Any resident that fails to comply is subject to a $100 fine for the first offense, with the fines increasing up to a maximum of $500 for subsequent offenses.
“I don’t want to cite people. I just want to clean it up,” Mahan said.
Finally, Kelly brought up the problem with the pickup of furniture and other items.
The city runs a separate truck to collect such items. According to the ordinance, cloth items, such as mattresses and furniture, are to be wrapped in plastic before they are set out for pickup.
However, this is rarely, if ever, done.
“We have had a few guys that end up bringing bedbugs home because they picked up furniture that wasn’t wrapped,” Kelly explained.
Anyone setting out such items is asked to contact public works at 523-6530 or the code enforcement office at 523-6507 to give the location.
“Any item that contains cloth must be wrapped,” Kelly explained.
With the holidays approaching, Kelly is reminding residents of the holiday pickup schedule.
Because of the Thanksgiving holiday, the trucks will not be running Thursday or Friday. Residents, whose trash is normally picked up on one of those days, will have trash pickup on Monday.
With Christmas falling on Monday, city employees will not return to work until Wednesday, Dec. 27. Residents, whose trash is picked up Monday or Tuesday, will receive trash pickup on Wednesday.
New Years Day is also on a Monday so trash pickup will move to Tuesday.
“Our policy for holidays is always that trash will be picked up the following day,” Kelly explained.