By Michael DePietro
The North Tonawanda Police Department issued a public information announcement via its Facebook page regarding recent amendments to the city's solid waste code. On April 20, the North Tonawanda City Council approved an amendment to Chapter 45 of the City Code regarding solid waste, which imposed stricter penalties for violating new bulk pickup rules.
The notice reads: “The City receives numerous complaints about bulk garbage being placed at the curb outside of the scheduled bulk monthly pickup schedule; which lead to this amendment.
“The bulk pickup schedule can be found by going to www.northtonawanda.org and clicking on Departments in the upper right hand corner and then clicking on public works/recycling.
“The North Tonawanda Police Department in cooperation with the North Tonawanda DPW will be enforcing this ordinance starting after this week’s scheduled pick up for May.
“If you need large items or bulk garbage picked up outside of the scheduled pick up, you can google garbage pickup and a list of vendors willing to pick up these items is available, but you will have to pay for their service.”
Per the amendment, violators will receive a notice of noncompliance from the city, after which they will have 72 hours to remove the offending rubbish. If not complied with, the Department of Public Works shall have the waste removed with, “The actual cost to the City for removing any such accumulated wastes as certified by the Superintendent of Public works, plus $125 for inspection and any other additional costs incurred in connection with its enforcement.”
After certification by the Department of Public Works (to the City Treasurer) the penalty will be enforced in the form of a “lien upon the property on which any such accumulated wastes as provided in this chapter were located and shall be added to and become and form a part of the taxes next to be assessed and levied upon such lot or land and shall bear interest at the same rate as taxes and shall be collected and enforced in the same manner as general City taxes.”
The amendment also says, “unauthorized dumping shall be punishable by a mandatory fine of $1,000.”
Mayor Arthur G. Pappas also released a similar reminder to the public this week: “For the past few years, we have received many complaints from residents about people abusing bulk garbage. Please be aware: If you litter the streets with bulk items on weeks with no bulk pickup, you will be cited.”