Monday night the Plymouth Common Council approved amendments to the City’s Garbage Ordinance on third and final reading.  Many changes have occurred since the city has gone to a private collection hauler thus the need for the amendments.

The amendment ordinance includes several pertinent changes to the current ordinance that will affect customers.  The first one being that the weekly amount of trash to be collected from residential dwelling units shall be limited to 96 gallons.  This portion is the same but the new part is that the lid must be fully closed.  The amendment also requires that all garbage and trash is to be placed in a standard garbage bag before being put into the toter for pick-up. 

Another change in the ordinance has to do with multi-unit residential living spaces.  A lengthy discussion began on whether smaller apartment’s buildings should be required to have one toter per unit or be allowed to privately contract with a hauler for a dumpster.  Apparently a situation has arisen were the landlord has the city’s trash service with individual toters but he could save money by contracting with the same provider for a dumpster.  The owners of apartment complexes, mobile home parks, and commercial buildings with apartments with 4 or more residential units shall be required to contact for private refuse removal services.  Those of four or less are required to use toters.   

The changes also deal with recycling.  In the original ordinance the private hauler was collecting plastics number 1 through 7.  The new ordinance only allows for collecting number 1 and 2 plastics. 

Councilman Chuck Ripley who also sits on the Marshall County Solid Waste Board as the city’s representative had great concern with removing number 3 through 7’s from the recycling list.  He said, “What happens to plastics three through seven?  Are you putting them into the landfill?”

Bob Stone from Allied Waste explained that there is no market for them; therefore they should be placed in the toter as trash.

The new ordinance also requires commercial entities to contract with a private contractor for recycling services.  It will also be a violation punishable by fine of not less than $50 or more than $250 to tamper, remove, collect or pick up recyclable items from someone else’s recyclables.