By Bob Balgemann


MACHESNEY PARK – They’re being referred to as “challenges in code enforcement.”

That’s how village staff defined problems they’re hoping to eliminate through a series of proposed text amendments to sections 14 and 30 of the Village Code, regulating garbage collection and offenses.

New regulations would deal with hours of placement at the curb for collection; the location of garbage containers so they are out of sight and rules for single-family and multi-family properties. Currently, only single-family properties are mentioned.

Multi-family residences must use either a toter or a dumpster for disposal of refuse. If a dumpster is used, it must be adequately screened from view and not located within a front yard, or side yard, abutting a street. If toters are used, they must be stored in an enclosed area, where practical.

A toter is a container made of a hard, molded plastic material that has a capacity of 33-95 gallons. A dumpster holds more than 95 gallons of material.

The revised language also would eliminate “self-policing policies” for the various regulations, which according to staff have not been working.

“Staff recommends the proposed text amendments to provide clarifications that are necessary to assist the village in code enforcement of trash and garbage policies,” stated a memorandum to the public improvements and safety committee (PISC).

The PISC, one of three standing committees of the village board, considered the issue March 21 and recommended approval of the overall changes. A public hearing was held the same night with no one in attendance offering any comment on the revisions.

Here are some of the highlights of the recommendations, which are expected to be considered by the village board at Monday night’s meeting:

  1. Containers may be placed at curbside no earlier than 6 a.m. the day before collection, and no later than 6 a.m. the day of collection.

There is a proposed deadline of noon the day after collection for containers to be removed from the curb. It was stated that this time limit was intended “to prevent people from permanently storing their trash containers at the curb seven days a week, which can be an aesthetic and safety issue.”

Such a deadline was an issue several years ago when changes were proposed, but never implemented.

  1. Definitions of yard waste and refuse material would be more specific than in the past.
  2. Violations of the ordinances would continue to result in a minimum fine of $200 and a maximum fine of $500. But the following sentence would be added: “Each day any violation of this article shall continue shall constitute a separate offense.”
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