The Colorado city where residents are required to hide their garbage cans
- Residents of Fort Collins, CO may be on the lookout for city code inspectors after a new report from the Coloradoan reports the amount of violations for property issues such as the placement of waste and recycling bins is on the rise. The number of overall notices written for all property issues more than doubled during a recent one-month period compared to the previous year.
- Households are allowed to have their bins at the curb 12 hours before and after collection, but otherwise they must be hidden entirely. Fines for failure to comply start at $100 and go up to $500.
- According to the city, only four of the 1,230 notices written resulted in citations last year. Though both residents and landlords still say that the city could do more to educate people about this arcane part of the municipal code.
Fort Collins has a pay-as-you-throw system that is serviced by three private companies, meaning residents can have a variety of different-sized containers. The city is also considering how to pursue organics collection from residents and businesses. Ensuring that bins are in the right place may be a small task, but it requires extra effort from residents.
Notices or citations for overflowing containers or unattended piles of bulk waste are more common in other municipalities. Recently enacted or proposed ordinances in Cleveland, Richmond and Memphis have all received some pushback from residents. Fort Collins' city code also allows inspectors to write notices for those types of issues in addition to their aesthetic enforcement duties.
While bins, carts or other containers may be a fact of life in most parts of the U.S., other countries have shown the potential to use underground storage containers or pneumatic collection systems in more densely populated urban areas. In addition to keeping waste out of sight this can also make collections more efficient. One Florida city recently debuted underground collection in its public spaces and a new pneumatic tube system has been proposed in New York.
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