Concerns about garbage collection and rules about the Board of Public Utilities‘ new garbage containers were discussed at Jamestown City Council‘s work session Monday night.
Dr. James Scarpino, speaking at privilege of the floor, expressed concern over garbage not being collected in recent weeks across the city.
He said at one time, residents could have eight bags of garbage out at the curb, “To having to have a single container, which the containers look very nice, but those containers only hold three bags. So therefore, your average citizen can only get three bags of garbage into one of those containers. It’s been my observation lately that if the lid to the can isn’t completely sealed and it’s canted slightly then they’re not picking up the garbage.”
Scarpino said when the weather is warmer, this will be a public health issue if garbage is left uncollected and sits out all week. He said fining people for improper disposal could also lead to illegal dumping.
BPU General Manager Dave Leathers said the rules for garbage pick-up have always said that bags of garbage needed to be placed in containers with a lid.
He said the BPU moved to the container system primarily for employee safety which is why they don’t want bags on top of containers or overflowing bags, “It’s very difficult to get that container with the extra bags to the back of the truck to be tipped. Some of those bags that are extra bags fall, stuff breaks into the streets, stuff breaks on the terrace, we have a lot of hypodermic needles, we have a lot of glass, we have other things in these bags that we’re trying to keep our employees not picking up and handling the bags themselves. That’s one of the reasons we went to the standard container program.”
Leathers apologized for the situation in recent weeks where garbage was left uncollected. He also added that it is not the BPU’s desire to fine or add fees to customers who do not follow the rules for placing garbage at the curb.
Councilmember Marie Carrubba recommended residents make sure they’re recycling as much as they can as that will help reduce the amount of garbage in bags.
The rules for garbage and recycling pickup are available on the BPU’s website.
The Finance committee reviewed and approved resolutions using American Rescue Plan funds to replace the roof on Fire Station #4 on Allen Street for a cost of $100,000 and to replace the roof on the Parks Maintenance Building on Fairmount Avenue for a cost of $237,000.
The committee also approved a resolution to use $210,513 to purchase 60 police radios, which will include software needed for radios to communicate with outside agencies
The Finance Committee did not approve a tuition reimbursement request from Mayoral Executive Assistant Zach Altschuler, with Committee Chair Kim Ecklund saying that procedure under the management guidelines wasn’t followed and that the classes to be reimbursed were not necessary to the position.