Lafayette

Oct 2, 2013 12:47 PM by AP

Council: Sign up for garbage service, or face fine

LAFAYETTE, La. (AP) - Lafayette residents who have not signed up for mandatory garbage service and those who leave their trash cans at the road for too long now face fines.

The City-Parish Council voted 8-1 on Tuesday to retool local laws regulating waste management in the parish, putting teeth into requirements that residents sign up for garbage service and they pull trash cans away from the road within 24 hours after trash has been picked up.

Allied Waste has the contract for trash service in Lafayette Parish, and the fee is automatically added on the utility bills for city residents.

The requirements have long been in effect, but the only way to enforce either one was for city-parish government to file a lawsuit against the property owner.

"It's not very practical," city-parish Environmental Quality Manager Mark Pope said.

The Advocate reports the changes approved Tuesday call for a $50-per-week fine for residents who have not signed up for mandatory trash service, with fines capped at $200.

Allied Waste has the contract for trash service in Lafayette Parish, and the fee is automatically added on the utility bills for city residents.

The issue has been in unincorporated areas outside the city limits, where residents contract directly with Allied Waste.

An estimated 1,200 residences of 16,500 in the unincorporated areas of the parish have not signed up for trash service, according to figures from city-parish government.

Pope said the problem is that those residents still produce garbage, which is likely being burned illegally, dumped on the side of the road or secretly stuffed in someone else's trash can.

Failure to remove a trash cart from the road within 24 hours of pick-up will now bring a $25 fine, with fines capped at $100, under the new regulations approved Tuesday.

As with the fines for mandatory trash service, city-parish government could seek a lien on person's property if the penalty is not paid.

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