In recent months three City of West Fargo sanitation workers were injured on the job while handling garbage collection. One worker was sprayed in the face and upper body with a mild acid solution when a container was compressed during the collection process. Two other workers were injured while lifting containers which exceeded the weight limits set by ordinance. Ordinance 15-0202 defines the requirements for the use of garbage cans and provides specifications as to their size and construction.
15-0202. GARBAGE CANS - REQUIRED - CAPACITY - CONSTRUCTION.
Every owner or occupant of any house, hotel, restaurant, building, flat, apartment, tenement, commercial building, tourist court or mobile home park unit in this City, where persons reside, board or lodge, or where animal or vegetable food is accumulated, kept for sale, prepared or served, shall provide for such house, hotel, restaurant, building, flat, apartment, tenement, commercial building, tourist court or mobile home park unit, and at all times maintain in good order a vessel or vessels for garbage. For each flat, apartment, tenement, building or mobile home park unit, one (1) such vessel for each living unit shall be provided.
Such vessel for garbage shall be watertight and made of metal or plastic with a close-fitting metal or plastic cover, and shall have a capacity of not less than ten (10) nor more than thirty-three (33) gallons. However, one (1) or more larger containers of such size and type as is approved by the City Public Works Director may be used if such Public Works Director determines the same to be necessary. Garbage receptacles should be placed on the premises, under the direction of the Public Works Director as to be easily accessible to the garbage collectors.
The use of garbage cans is encouraged to reduce the exposure of the garbage to marauding domestic animals or wildlife; rodents; insects; or the elements of the weather. Unprotected garbage bags are frequently torn open by scavengers allowing garbage and litter to be scattered into the neighborhood. Disease carrying rodents and insects feed and breed in exposed garbage and spread potential illnesses into our homes.
To discourage the human type of scavenger West Fargo does have an ordinance regulating who may remove items placed out for collection. Ordinance 15-0205 requires a person to hold a license or permit to be able to collect garbage.
15-0205. WHO MAY REMOVE CONTENTS OF GARBAGE CAN. It shall be unlawful for any person, firm or corporation, or any agent or employee thereof to haul, carry or convey through, along, or upon any public street, alley or sidewalk within the City of West Fargo, any garbage, rubbish, or ashes as classified under this chapter unless employed, licensed or permitted by the City of West Fargo, to carry or convey garbage.
To avoid injury to the sanitation workers; to prevent the mixing of dangerous chemicals; and to halt the pollution of ground waters certain items are not allowed to be placed for collection. Those items are covered by ordinance 15-0210.
15-0210. GARBAGE NOT MEETING SPECIFICATIONS.
A. The following items shall not be picked up as part of the garbage collection system of the City of West Fargo, and it shall be unlawful to place out for collection any of the following items:
2. Sludges (including sewage sludges, lime sludges, bar screenings and similar materials).
3. Animal manure.
4. Septic tank pumpings.
5. Unrinsed pesticide containers.
6. Hazardous wastes including:
a. Ignitibles (solvents, fuels and similar materials).
b. Corrosives (acids, alkalies and similar materials).
c. Reactives (hypo chlorites, swimming pool chemicals, cyanides, and similar materials).
d. EP toxic (paint sledges containing lead, chrome and similar materials).
7. Waste oil.
9. Infectious wastes.
11. Large quantities of fly ash, soluble material, such as salt, may be restricted or require special handling.
B. The following items will be picked up not as part of the regular collection, but for a special fee to be set by the Public Works Director:
1. Lead acid batteries.
5. Other items with the approval of the Public Works Director.
Those homeowners or businesses that violate the rules may be sentenced to a $500 fine under ordinance 15-0214.
15-0214. PENALTY. Any person violating any section of this chapter shall be guilty of an infraction and shall be subject to the penalties set forth in Section 1-0211. Each day such a violation continues shall be considered a separate offense.
West Fargo does sponsor a recycling program to reduce the amount of garbage sent to the landfill. Aluminum and steel cans as well as clean glass and newspaper will be accepted. The items should be separated and placed in containers available through the City of West Fargo. Recyclable collections are done every other week on the normal trash collection day.
15-0216. COLLECTION OF RECYCLABLE MATERIALS. Residents of residential dwellings and commercial buildings may participate in the City's plan of separation of recyclable materials as defined in Section 15-0201. The collection of separated materials shall be at such regular times as set by the City. Materials shall only be collected if set out in special recycling containers authorized by the City.
Certain recyclable materials have a greater cash value than others and can draw the attention of unauthorized collectors. Once the recyclable material has been separated and placed on the curb it comes under the control of the city and only the person placing it there can reclaim it. Any other person removing the items can be charged under ordinance 15-0217.
15-0217. ANTI-SCAVENGING CLAUSE. Ownership of separated recyclable materials set out for collection by the City shall be vested in the City. It shall be unlawful for any person, firm, or corporation to pick up separated recyclable materials for his/her own use, except the owner, lessee, or occupant of a residential dwelling may take back materials set out at that particular dwelling. In addition, any person, firm, or corporation may pick up recyclable materials pursuant to a special permit as provided in Section 15-0212.
For the health, safety and appearance of our community please use proper storage containers when placing your garbage out for collection. Do your part to keep our community clean.