As the weather improves and more people take to the outdoors we will begin an education and enforcement campaign to ensure that our sidewalks, streets and parks are clean and free of loose trash and debris, a major complaint of residents and neighborhood groups. During the month of June several departments—Development Services, Public Works and Police—will collaborate on this campaign with the goal of increasing solid waste compliance rates and improving cleanliness across the city.
Residents may already be noticing informational tags left on trash carts when items are in violation of the regulations. These tags serve as reminders that trash bags exceeding the amount able to fit in the trash cart with the lid closed should be placed aside of carts in purple overflow bags. They also provide information on recycling and the proper placement of the cart for collection as well as process for disposing of yard waste, furniture and appliances.
Beginning June 6th, after a second week of warning notices to non-compliant residents, Allied Waste will leave behind any items that do not conform to waste disposal requirements. Items left behind will have to be brought back to the property and placed curbside the following week in a manner that is compliant with the rules. Further enforcement for violations such as leaving trash or trash containers curbside the day after collection, putting furniture or other bulky items out too early or without a scheduled collection, will also be implemented and may result in penalties including fines up to $300 per violation.
The move to ramp up enforcement comes two years after the City launched the new trash and recycling service. We expect this effort to resolve persistent issues that generate repeated complaints, increase recycling rates and reduce waste tonnage throughout the City.
We will also enhance enforcement to combat illegal dumping that diminishes the quality of life of our neighborhoods and impacts our budget with added cleanup expenses. Using surveillance cameras and other inspection methods, we will issue violations and, where appropriate, seek criminal complaints against individuals found dumping trash, furniture, electronics and other debris at parks, along roadways and in empty lots. With fines of up to $300 per violation and possible criminal charges, offenders will pay a much steeper price for dumping trash inLowell’s public areas than they will for making appropriate disposal arrangements.
While the majority of our residents complies with and appreciates the “new” trash program, there remains a number who refuse to comply. After two years of primarily educational efforts, we believe it is time for stepped up enforcement to achieve our clean community goals.
For more information about the City’s waste and recycling program contact 978.446.7277 or www.lowellrecycle.org. To schedule pickup of furniture or appliances contact 978.649.7564.