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* Hampton City News

Posted on: October 14, 2022

Public Works seeks stricter enforcement on trash collection

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Oct. 14, 2022 — To combat increasing costs of trash and recycling collection, Public Works Director Jason Mitchell proposed to City Council that Hampton adopt a series of measures focused on residents who repeatedly violate the rules.

Violations require extra time and cost, delay collections for other customers, and create safety hazards. Speaking to City Council this week, Mitchell showed images of overstuffed containers, bins melted from being filled with hot charcoal, recycling containers loaded with non-recyclable items, an excess of materials for bulk collections that covered sidewalks, and 15-foot-long tree trunks that exceed city guidelines.

The presentation was informational. The City Council will vote on the proposals at a later meeting.

Residents receive written warnings for the first two offenses. Mitchell advocated for increasing the fine on third offenses from the current $25 to $75.

Mitchell also proposed boosting the city’s recycling efforts and reducing trash to the landfill by requiring private businesses and apartment complexes to provide a recycling system to tenants, customers, and employees.

He also proposed the city give Public Works:

  • More authority to deal with people who leave basketball goals in the street or park cars that block trash collection;
  • The ability to set locations for solid waste, aimed at people who leave refuse in front of a neighbor’s house or under power lines that make it both dangerous and difficult for collection;
  • The ability to charge residents who leave bulk trash at the curb after collection day; 
  • Permission to check suspicious recycling containers and document non-recyclable items; and
  • The ability to charge non-residents and commercial operations a fee when they take yard waste to the city facility.

Stiffer fines ($250) would be assessed when people dump trash in the public right-of-way or on private property, or when they leave large piles of items when moving out or evicting tenants without arranging for disposal.

He also proposed trash collection could be terminated for a resident who repeatedly puts hazardous materials out for collection. These materials can be dangerous to drivers or to staff in the trash-to-steam plant and would provide an environmental hazard at the landfill.

Mitchell said he hopes that informing residents about trash collection will streamline the process and reduce costs without requiring financial penalties.

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