Time to dump the dumpsters?
For the second time in less than a year, the Blue Earth City Council has discussed trying to pass a garbage dumpster policy, or even a new ordinance.
Councilman Les Wiborg had requested that the council take another look at the problem.
“I just don’t think we need to have dumpsters in the residential areas,” Wiborg says. “They stay in people’s yards for a year and they smell. Plus, our streets get damaged when the things get emptied.”
The other council members agreed.
“I don’t see a problem with someone getting one for a while, especially if they are doing some remodeling,” Councilman Glenn Gaylord says. “But they just can’t leave it there, using it for dumping garbage all winter long.”
Councilman John Huisman says there has been a problem with one in First Ward.
“It was in the side yard for a long time, and was used for all kinds of things, including household garbage,” he says.
Councilman Dan Brod wondered why the council had not passed a new ordinance restricting the use of the dumpsters in residential areas.
“I thought we were going to limit them to just 21 days, and then they would have to renew the permit,” he says. “And, they would be required to dump them every two weeks.”
City Administrator Kathy Bailey says the council did not vote on a new dumpster ordinance because they felt the problem was already addressed by the current nuisance ordinance. “I did send a letter to one person about the dumpster in their yard, which did smell, and they removed it,” she says.
Bailey adds that when she contacted Waste Management, they reported only two dumpsters were in the residential portion of the city.
“Of course, there are other companies which furnish dumpsters to residents,” she adds.
Brod suggested a ban on all dumpsters in the city in areas zoned residential. However, Mayor Rob Hammond explained there could be a problem with it because there are businesses in residential areas, and residences in areas zoned business or commercial.
“There are times people need a dumpster,” Hammond says. “Like when moving, clearing out a house after a relative passes away, or remodeling.”
“We just need to restrict their use,” he says.
Hammond instructed Bailey to contact the city attorney and find out what the alternatives and options are, and have it ready at the next work session.