Garbage Laws

B y Derek Liebig

 

The village of Whitehall has begun the process of drawing up a new set of laws and legal definitions governing the collection and disposal of solid waste in the village that they hope will add some teeth to current laws and compel local residents to clean up their properties.

Officials hope the additions will strengthen current laws and clarify what’s permissible and what is not.

Mayor Peter Telisky said he hopes to amend the current laws with the proposed additions at one of the village meetings next month.

“This would be an additional piece to what we already have. We hope it will strengthen the laws already on the books and give them some more teeth,” Telisky said.

The new laws, when approved, are expected to address any confusion people may have had with the old rules and allow officials to more effectively enforce rules regarding the disposal of garbage.

The new law legally defines what constitutes garbage and solid waste as well as who is responsible for its removal and what is a suitable dumpster.

Under the proposed additions, solid waste will be defined as garbage, refuse and discarded materials, including but not limited to solid, semisolid, liquid and contained gaseous materials resulting from municipal, industrial, commercial, agriculture and residential units.

This will include junk cars, which have commonly been cited as a problem by Bennett in the past.

“There’s a difference between a car that’s taken off the road for the winter and one that sits on your yard in a state of disrepair,” Telisky said.

The proposed law states the village can exercise its police power to regulate all aspects of solid waste within the village and spells out the punishment for not complying with the law.

The law clearly spells out the duties of property owners and occupiers of the property.

It would require that occupants dispose of their solid waste in approved containers at least every seven days.

It also states that the land owner must supply approved, tightly covered, leak proof containers for solid waste and it’s their responsibility to arrange removal of that waste.

It would be unlawful for the owner of a multifamily home to fail to provide enough containers to prevent overflow of waste between collection times.

Landowners and occupants will be responsible for keeping the sidewalks, yards and dwellings free of all solid waste of every kind, including dry vegetation which could represent a fire hazard.

The law would also regulate the disposal of trash.

For instance, solid waste containers will not be permitted in the front yard of any buildings and must not be visible from the street except from5 p.m.on the day prior to its scheduled pickup.

It will also be illegal to landfill, store, or burn any garbage within the village.

Any person who violates any of the provisions of the law could face up to a $250 fine or 15 day imprisonment.

“If you have to go to court, it’s too late at this point,” Telisky said.

He said the village will work with people if they need help, such as the elderly, but if someone simply refuses to comply, they will be ticketed.

Earlier this summer, the village began an effort to compel local residents to clean up their properties. At the time Garry Bennett, who serves as the local ordinance officer, said some of the laws on the books were problematic and difficult to enforce.

For instance, there was a property on Williams Street that had officials “had a hell of time enforcing” because current laws didn’t address some of the issues.

It’s hoped the new laws will make enforcement easier.

Officials used New York State property codes and incorporated some of Fort Edward’s laws, a community Telisky compared to Whitehall.

“They are struggling like us and we’re both trying to prevent the community from falling apart. We can’t have these things in a healthy and safe community. If we are ever going to stabilize our taxes and want people to come to Whitehall we need throw out the welcome mat and clean up the community.”

To that end, the village has pledged to clean up their own properties. Employees have been cleaning up around the garage and there are plans to eventually resurface the parking lot.

They have also started to paint the village offices.

Telisky hopes to have the new laws ratified sometime in September so everyone can become familiar with them over fall and winter.

“We want to get everyone on board and hit the ground running next spring,” he said.

Comments

comments

Read more in this week's Times in newsstands now or click here to read right now with our e-edition.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Classifieds 07/29/15

Rain stops, the park rocks

Magill and Macri 3 cover

By Jamie Norton The skies opened up five minutes before Daryl Magill – one of the biggest draws of the […]

Dresden works to eradicate invasive weeds

Water chestnut harvester redit VT DEC

By Dan King The town of Dresden has started its annual effort to remove invasive water chestnuts from Lake Champlain, […]

Man walking to D.C. to ‘raise awareness’

don

By Dan King Don Duncan may be 65 years old but he’s not letting that stop him from raising awareness […]

Hebron woman charged with urinating outside store

By Christina Scanlon A Hebron woman faces several charges, including driving while intoxicated and possession of marijuana, after witnesses and […]

Area man to hold talk about Robin Williams

By Linda Ellingsworth It’s been almost a year since the untimely passing of comic great Robin Williams, and a local […]

Ride to benefit veterans

By Christina Scanlon When the bikers hit the road for the third annual ride to benefit the Wounded Warrior Project […]

Macuras ‘my favorite’

By Jamie Norton Daryl Magill has been lighting up the pagoda at Veterans Memorial Park for years. And every year, […]

Missing teen found

Two seemingly unrelated cases involving teens from Fair Haven, Vt., converged last week, resulting in both the arrest of a […]

Meet-n-greet famous grapplers

Brodus Clay

By Dan King Former WWE wrestler Brodus Clay will be the highlight of the World of Hurt Wrestling event tomorrow […]

Hartford to host annual sale

By Dan King There will be bargains galore next weekend in the “Heart of Washington County.” Hartford will host its […]

Despite tickets, drivers still disobey law

By Christina Scanlon A recent upswing in cell phone tickets in the village of Granville is due, in part, to […]