Preventing injury is the reason behind a recent renewal of enforcement for a trash ordinance in the city of Desloge. Discussed during Monday night’s board of alderman meeting, the ordinance limiting the size of garbage cans has caused some tension between the city and a few residents.
City Ordinance Chapter 230, Section 230.050 addresses solid waste management and storage in proper containers. The ordinance was passed in 1996. The ordinance states that outside garbage cans (those left for weekly pickup) can not exceed 35 gallons or weigh more than 75 pounds.
City Administrator Dan Bryan said that the reasoning behind the ordinance is simple – safety of the city workers who pick up trash.
Alderman Chris Gremminger said that having to lift large cans that are overweight can potentially cause an injury to a city employee.
“If an employee becomes injured, this can cost the city an unknown amount of money in workman’s compensation as well as having to replace the injured worker until he or she heals,” said Gremminger.
“The way this works is that if we go out and see a can that exceeds the limit it gets tagged,” said Bryan. “The first time is a warning and the resident is given two weeks to correct the problem.”
Bryan said that if they go out after the two-week period and the same tagged can is still out there, it will not be picked up.
Bryan talked about one residence in particular that received a tag on their can. He said the can was tagged and the following week when the collectors went by the home, the sticker had been ripped off the can and the residents had left a pile of animal feces on the lid of the can.
“This type of thing can’t be tolerated and in this case it poses a health risk to our workers so that garbage was not collected,” said Bryan.
Bryan said that they want the citizens to understand that the city is not trying to be difficult in this situation and is simply looking out for the health and safety of city employees which is why the ordinance was put into place.
“We are the only city in the area that provides a free trash pickup to our residents,” said Bryan.
Because of this, many of the board members feel that the residents are still getting a good deal even with the limitations.
Desloge is not the only city that places a limit on trash can size. The city of Park Hills also requires that garbage cans be 35 gallons or less and weigh less than 75 pounds. In addition, citizens of Park Hills are limited to four bags of trash and if they have additional bags they must be marked for $1 each with tags purchased from city hall. Park Hills charges residents have $12 per month added to their water bill.
The city of Bonne Terre also enforces a 35-gallon size bag limit and allows three bags of trash each week, charging $2 per bag for additional bags. Bonne Terre charges $17 per month for trash service which is also added to the water bill.
The cities of Leadington, Bismarck, Farmington, and Leadwood require residents to purchase their trash service from a waste management company.