Denham Springs — Denham Springs is now empowered to take out the trash when companies and apartment complexes do not.
On Monday, the City Council approved a new ordinance governing dumpster use. Properties are required to have garbage service, though small businesses, duplexes and other sites that generate little refuse may use the city’s twice-weekly collection service.
Larger properties that rely on private dumpsters must clear them out at least twice per month, or whenever they are filled to capacity, under an ordinance passed during Monday night’s council meeting.
“We just want garbage picked up,” said Councilman Rene Delahoussaye, who worked on the ordinance after learning of one apartment complex that had gone months without collection.
“Two months without July pickup? Think about it,” he remarked before the meeting.
In addition to the odor, uncollected trash also can attract animals and pose a health risk to people who live nearby, he said.
Jimmy Britton, who lives south of Interstate 12, said the growth in that area of the city has been a trade-off — developers have drawn new businesses, but those stores can negatively impact a city that already has good landscaping ordinances.
“I’m very concerned about the appearance of South Range Avenue,” he told the Council before they voted.
“I think our appearance is important.”
“Having a high standard is not a bad thing,” responded Councilwoman Lori Lamm-Williams.
The ordinance passed unanimously minus absent member Chris Davis following some debate about a slight rewording proposed by councilman Robert Poole, though his suggestion failed for lack of a second.
Now, if a resident complains about an overfull dumpster, the property owner will have 24 hours to clear it out before the city sends a crew to haul it off. The property owner will be on the hook for the cost of the removal, plus a 10 percent fee. Delahoussaye said rates will be assessed on a case-by-case basis, as some material may be more costly to remove.
The ordinance also sets forth other rules for dumpsters, demanding they be kept covered when not in use, and off of roads and sidewalks.
Britton urged city leaders to require property owners to keep dumpsters out of sight behind privacy fences, though that matter is not addressed in the ordinance passed Monday. Still, he described the new regulations as “a step in the right direction” and said he hopes the city will consider his suggestion in the future.
Follow Steve Hardy on Twitter, @SteveRHardy.