02/10/04 — Talking trash

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Talking trash

By Barbara Arntsen
Published in News on February 10, 2004 2:01 PM

Goldsboro City Council members spent some time during a zoning review meeting Monday talking trash, and trying to get something done about it.

Councilman Bob Waller wanted to know if there was something enforceable in the existing ordinances that could address problems with commercial dumpsters.

Councilman Jimmy Bryan echoed his concerns, saying that a commercial dumpster across from his warehouse was often overflowing, leaving trash to scatter when the wind blew.

Simonne Cato, director of Keep Wayne County Beautiful and a member of the city Appearance Commission, said those organizations would like to see some regulations placed on commercial dumpsters.

"There's an inequity between tax-paying residents and commercial sites," she said.

City Attorney Harrell Everett said that the city code didn't require commercial businesses to have a dumpster, but gave businesses an option of having municipal or private pickup.

Waller wondered who checked on the kind of trash-pickup service various commercial establishments used.

Everett said the city responded to calls about problems.

"If they see it, they'll do something about it," City Manager Richard Slozak said of city workers. "We have not been looking at commercial sites."

Waller said he wanted them to do something about the trash.

Slozak said the city hadn't been focused on overflowing dumpsters, but had spent its time taking care of weeded lots and junked cars in residential areas.

"Now you're talking about another program," he said. "We've got two guys in code enforcement; we'll need another body."

Bryan mentioned problems, even on the residential side, that weren't addressed promptly.

"As a citizen, I have called about a house on James Street where dumpsters are taken out to the curb on Monday, and pickup isn't until Thursday," he said.

The problem, Bryan explained, was that the people keep throwing trash in the containers throughout the week, until the garbage overflows into the street.

Bryan said it took several phone calls to the city's code enforcement officers before the problem was properly addressed.

"It was disappointing to have to call that many times," he said. "If we have to put on someone else, I think it's important."

Slozak said that it was the first time he'd heard about the carts being taken out early, and he said that the city would be responsive to complaints about commercial dumpsters.

"If you see something, give us a buzz," Slozak said. "We'll do something about it."

Slozak said that the city didn't supervise dumpsters, but if it got a complaint, it would respond.

"We're not going behind buildings, but we're responding to complaints," Slozak said.

Mayor Al King said he thought it was pretty clear that the city had problems regarding litter. "We need to completely revamp our program and take a new approach to litter and housekeeping in the city," King said.

Slozak said he would put it as an agenda item for the council's planning retreat later this month.