Denham Springs — The Denham Springs City Council has introduced a new ordinance aimed at — literally — cleaning up the streets.
Tuesday evening, the council introduced a resolution that would give the city more authority to police private dumpsters.
Though the city provides houses with municipal garbage service, with few exceptions businesses and apartment complexes must depend on waste companies to cart off their trash. Councilman Rene Delahoussaye said not all the dumpsters in the city are well-maintained, adding that one at an apartment complex he’s seen can go months between being cleaned out.
Under the proposed ordinance, if city officials empty a private dumpster, they may place a lien on the property where it is located until the owner pays for the removal plus a 10 percent surcharge. The city already may place a lien on property where owners have not paid their municipal trash service charges.
Under the proposal, businesses and apartment complexes would need to have their dumpsters cleared at least once every two months. If the city receives a complaint that refuse has reached the top edge of any dumpster wall or is overflowing, the property owner will have 24 hours to have it hauled off before a city crew clears the mess itself, City Attorney Stephanie Bond Hulett said. Under the proposed regulations, owners and trash companies would be required to put their contact information on the dumpsters, and city officials would have to try to attempt to reach them before collecting the trash themselves.
The ordinance also would forbid any dumpster from containing “hazardous waste,” defined to include refuse that is unhealthy due to its quantity or concentration.
The five-page resolution contains several other provisions governing dumpster use, including a requirement that owners keep them off roads, illuminated with lights or reflectors, and closed to vermin and scavengers.
The City Council will host a public hearing and vote on the proposal Jan. 25 at 6 p.m. at the Denham Springs Municipal Building.
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