Garbage Tickets and Recycling on the Way

Posted by Anonymous

(Image: trash pail behind building near Upside Down Bridge)

LUSJ article today HOUSING COURT: Trash ticket numbers spike mentions an increase in the number of tickets issued for early garbage placement (more than 24hrs prior to pickup).

On a weekly basis, prosecutor Mike Norris is handling proceedings against property owners written up by Bob Turner, Mayor Michael Tucker’s community aide whose charge is to stop the city from looking “trashy.”

Turner has enforced the trash ban vigorously since he took the job last summer; in recent months, anywhere from two to two dozen cases per week are turning up in City Court. Tucker thinks the numbers should reassure, not disturb, residents.

“If we’re talking about 10, 20 cases (a week) — that’s a small number in the scheme of things. Those numbers say the system is working,” he said.

The ban on early trash set-out has been enforced at Tucker’s urging since 2005, when the Common Council amended existing law to allow on-the-spot citation and fines for convicted violators.

I'm curious if tickets are also filed for not removing empty trash cans. On my street initial garbage placement never appears to be out of line but there a couple properties that like to ignore carrying the emptied cans back to the house. Sometimes it is several days later before they leave the curb.

LUSJ also gave an update yesterday on the city recycling program progress: CITY OF LOCKPORT: Recycling plan is taking shape.

Members of the all-volunteer recycling committee, appointed last year by Mayor Michael Tucker, on Monday reached some consensus on the type of program they’d like to see for the city. Among recommendations they’ll make to the Common Council:

• Recycling should be single-stream, meaning no separation of plastic, glass and metal is required by residents.

• Collections should be weekly and should be available to both residents and businesses.

• Collection should be by city workers using city equipment, not a private company. The city should provide residences with one 18-gallon bin per living unit and one 95-gallon wheeled “tote” per commercial enterprise. Undecided, as of Monday, is which
category three-or-more unit apartment houses fall into.

• Public works should pick an area — a ward or garbage route — to launch a “pilot study.” Since the model has city employees taking on a new chore, kinks in the effort will have to be worked out by trial and error. Early bets were on a pilot in the 4th or 5th wards, which participate most in the city’s existing paper/cardboard recycling
program, but Dawn Walczak, Niagara County’s director of environmental/solid waste management, recommended a pilot in whatever area has a good mix of residential and business occupation. “Pick a challenging route so you’re prepared,” she said.

• Recycling will have to be voluntary, not mandatory, by residents and businesses. Committee chairman Jeff Tracy is inclined to draw a hard line with businesses — either they’ll recycle or the city shouldn’t pick up their trash anymore, he suggested — but the city currently doesn’t have the option to pick and choose whose trash it’ll collect. Absent formation of a garbage district, everybody’s trash gets picked up, Superintendent of Streets Mike Hoffman said

Buffalo News article on it here.

I'm curious on the reasoning behind making it a city operation instead of bidding the whole thing out every several years to a contractor. The ~250K start-up costs mention a new truck, containers, education etc. Then there is the mention of the annual costs of operation as being $54k including a mechanical operator's job and that it is a wash with today's tipping rates. I'd rather a system where no additional city employees are added. I'm all for keeping legacy costs as low as possible since one never knows what the future holds and its a bonus to be able to cut back when times call for it.

Living in the 4th ward I'd more than happy to be a guinea pig for the program.


City of Lockport Garbage FAQ

Old recycling post:Recycling Program Update (2009-02-02)


Anonymous said...

A while back I decided to invest in 2 houses in the City of Lockport. I have spent a lot of money to bring these houses above par and to make sure all if safe and up to code. I have a great tenants. They are aware the lease has them responsible for their garbage.

In the summer of 2010 one of my very responsible and happy tenants forwarded me a letter from the city. It was a ticket for her place where a piece of furniture was put out to the road a few days early.

When I spoke with my tenant they were totally up front and paid the hundred dollars themselves knowing they let it go and knew they had made a mistake. They handled this with dignity and perfectly. The only bad point on this was it was in my name. Never before had I ever had a ticket or been jailed so I was upset for the smudge which clearly my tenant wanted to stand up for it and do what was right and have their mistake belong to them only not me which in our city is impossible to say the least even when they want it. Even though the upstanding tenant paid it and tried to get it moved to their own name it was impossible. There mistake, my record? This to me didnt seem quite right and I was worried things would snowball if other factors were involved.

October 2010 I guess another letter was sent to me at a different rental address for the same issue. Trash ticket. This tenant decided to totally count me out and open the mail and go to court and settle the matter. Satisfied that she took care of it and i was unaware of any of it. I guess the city sent 4 letters in total. I never seen one until in February 2010 when I went to my mailbox on a Saturday morning to find a warrent for my arrest. Wow, totally floored, I called the police station to see what could be done, if i would be picked up, what could i do. The Officer told me if i was seen in town the warrent would be used and i would end up at the police station. I would spend the weekend in jail with no bail. WOW!

It took 3 months to finally get something from the court that said i was free and the matter was taken care of. In the mean time i was afraid to drive but of coarse it is a part of everday life and if you work you usually drive. The police cars have something I will discribe as a picture taker for your license on your car and it can read your name and if there is a warrent for you they will pull you over and take you away.

How can i do my work, how can i go across to Canada to do my business? Do I have to contact and pay for my Lawyer? How did this excell to such a thing where i would be sent to jail for something I didnt do or have any control over?

This could be any of you. Your mail gets taken by your kids, tenants, sent to the wrong address as mine was (It was told that day in court when my name was called there were many landlords with warrents as their mail went to the rental(or somewhere else)and not to them.


Anonymous said...


Mail can be left in a hallway and not sent back, thrown away, or not returned. Any of these can happen to you.
Be aware that the warrent can be out there for you any time as it was for me. Now I wonder after all that took
to be taken care of how did this happen to me? Who's next and when will it happen again, because in my heart I
know it or something similar will. What I do not really understand in all this is that the really responsible,
good tenants want to take care of their own business and not have anyone else involved. Well even if they do
the building owner will still know and be thrown in jail. My tenants are good respectable and responsible people,
why is it not up to the city to try to let them do whats right first before involving throwing a good innocent
person in jail. I am innocent of all this, I now have some kind of record for it. Is this any way to have a good name.
Is this any way for encouraging good tenants to be what they are, good. The system is very flawed people! The system
is now going to take a new turn and privatize the pickup of your trash and have you pay more money to do so.
Please post your issues here with mine in the future. I can not be the only one this kind of thing is happening to.
Can I? (*no names have been provided to protect the tenant, police, government officials who were understanding,
others in court, and countless other innocent unnamed people involved. I will add a HUGE THANK YOU TO ALL OF THEM

Anonymous said...

which is one of the reasons the city tried to get some sort of landlord law requiring a contact to be on record... that would/should/could help avoid what you went thru

MJ said...

Did you contact the Mayor or your alderman at that time? Were they of any help?

Similar to a car parking ticket, the name goes to the registrant (owner). It's probably the only way to do it without wasting too much time. Plus the tickets go to the address on file. If the city only has that address for you, then that is where the mail will go.

The big issue I see is why was the matter not dropped if it was paid right from the start? And is it a cronic problem?

Thank you for sharing the experience. I'd be happy to post long items like this in their own posts.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the comments back..
To Anonymous: My contact address was the first thing checked throughout the city building, all were correct. Mr. Turner chose to send the letters to the house instead of looking. So that system failed twice. He now supposidly has the correct one and this was the 2nd time he did that. Also there was a huge amount of people at court that this also happened to and all were dropped because of it, so the thick file of tickets and courts time was very waisted that day. I also have a manager on record for when I am at work just to be sure I have no issue but since they didnt check to see, that also failed. My manager is excellent and was able to help me but it took 3 months to get the paperwork saying im no longer a wanted person. Fact is all of my wonderful tenant's want to take care of their issues and it's not allowed. I would have wanted to be notified also but they should be ok to take care of their own mistakes, or at least given the oppertunity as all of mine would like to have.

Anonymous said...

To MJ.
Yes Mr. Tucker was very sympathetic and tried to help as much as he could, but once a judge issues a warrent only a judge can recind it.

I did not try to contact any alderperson as the houses are in various areas in the city, not one alderperson is assigned but several.

Yes it is a chronic problem and Mr. Turner was not around at the time, part of the problem was because he did not check addresses or ownership.

The matter was not dropped because not being notified, I did not come to court the tenant did. So when I failed to show up to court a warrent is issued for my arrest. It did not matter the tenant took care of it.

I hope this information is helpful to others. I will watch to see if anyone needs anything, just really do not like to post my name. Thank you MJ for your wonderful blog.

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