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Come On Folks, Clean Up the Garbage

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Most people follow the rules, and dispose of their garbage according to the provisions of the law. But other people just don’t get it.

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For some inexplicable reason, some people seem to think that the rules don’t apply to them; no matter how important those rules might be for the health, safety, and well-being of their neighbors.

A quick walk around the south-west quadrant of the Village of Brockport today disclosed more than twenty obvious violations of Chapter 21 of the Brockport Village Code, Garbage, Refuse and Burning; And at least eight of those violations were serious health hazards.If we don’t want the Village overrun with rats, maybe we ought to do something about the garbage problem in Brockport.

The purpose of Chapter 21 of the Brockport Village Code, Garbage, Refuse and Burning, is, “to protect and promote the health, safety and welfare of the people of the Village of Brockport”.

Chapter 21 of the Village Code, was adopted by Brockport’s Board of Trustees on November 20, 1961; and it was amended in its entirety” in June 2009 by Local Law. No. 1-2009.

At the time, the members of the Village Board were: Mayor Morton Wexler, Trustee/Vice Mayor Maria Connie Castaneda, Trustee Scott W. Hunsinger, Trustee Hal S. Legg, and Trustee David J. Wagenhauser.

According to the minutes of the June 15, 2009 Meeting, “Trustee Legg moved, carried 4/0 to amend Village Code Chapter 21.”

Mayor Wexler, along with Trustees Castaneda, Hunsinger, and Legg voted in favor of the motion. Trustee Wagenhauser had been excused from the meeting and was not present for the vote.

Now if Morton Wexler and Connie Castaneda voted for the current wording of Chapter 21 of the Village Code, then the wording must be pretty tame, because neither Mort Wexler nor Connie Castaneda would ever vote for any measure that would limit the obscene profits made by the college landlords in Brockport.

But you wouldn’t know that if you took a walk around the Village and took a look at some of the garbage people leave on the street.

Sections 21-7F and 21-7G of the Village Code set down the rules for when people can put their garbage out by the street to be removed by a commercial garbage collection company.

F. Residential properties receiving commercial waste hauler curbside trash and recycling material pickups shall be performed on Tuesday and Wednesday only, between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., unless such days fall on a designated holiday, and/or during such periods of time as may be designated by the Superintendent of Public Works.

G. The property owner, lessee or occupant shall transport his or her refuse and refuse receptacles to his property line, but said trash and trash receptacles and recycling bins shall not be placed curbside any earlier than 24 hours before collection day, with said empty receptacles being removed from curbside no later than 12 hours after trash collection.

Garbage collection is either on Tuesday or Wednesday, depending on which side of main Street you live on, and you can’t put your garbage out more than “24 hours before collection day” and you can’t leave your garbage at curbside “later than 12 hours after trash collection.”

Section 21-5A Receptacles; specifications, sets out the rules for garbage cans and receptacles

Every owner, lessee or occupant of any building, premises or place of business within the Village shall provide or cause to be provided and at all times keep suitable and sufficient receptacles for receiving and containing offal, garbage, ashes, refuse, rubbish or noxious substances that may accumulate from or be used upon said premises. No such receptacles shall be kept near any public place longer than may be necessary for the removal of the contents thereof. All receptacles used for the reception of garbage and/or refuse or noxious substances shall be provided with proper covers, and such receptacles shall at all times be securely closed and watertight. Receptacles (including recycling bins) and garbage of any type must be kept from public view, either inside of structures or behind screening, from neighboring property or public view until the day of trash pickup.

The rules are pretty simple.

  • Between Thursday afternoon and Monday afternoon there should be no garbage or garbage cans outside people’s homes.
  • Property owners are legally bound to provide proper garbage cans for the garbage (you can’t just throw the garbage on the ground).
  • All garbage cans have to be properly covered all the time.
  • Garbage cans receptacles shall not be kept near any public place (e.g. sidewalk) longer than necessary (see Section 21-4G).
  • Receptacles (including recycling bins) and garbage of any type must be kept from public view, either inside of structures or behind screening, from neighboring property or public view until the day of trash pickup.

Those rules aren’t difficult to follow, but as the photos in the slideshow indicate, some people are clearly not following the rules, and that raises three questions:

  1. Why don’t people understand that they should not have garbage or garbage cans in front of their house except for the short period of time immediately before and after scheduled pick-up?
  2. Why don’t people get it that their garbage cans and recycling bins should not be visible from the street of from neighboring properties?
  3. Why doesn’t the Village enforce the Village Code on Garbage and Refuse?

Maybe these are questions that need to be addressed by Brockport’s new Housing Task Force.