New rules on garbage will be enforced next week

Published 12:00 am Friday, November 29, 2002

Residents who don’t bundle their branches or bag their leaves could find themselves hauled before the Vicksburg Community Court judge starting with Monday’s trash pickup.

Officials said Tuesday they will begin enforcement of new garbage collection rules next week. Until now, residents have gotten warnings when they have not followed the rules now in effect for a month.

“Starting Dec. 1, we will begin transition into letting the citizens be responsible for their own garbage,” said Mayor Laurence Leyens.

Rules were delivered with 96-gallon garbage containers. They require tree limbs to be bundled in 4-foot sections weighing no more than 50 pounds, leaves and other yard waste be bagged and all garbage placed inside the new containers.

Garbage left in piles on the side of the road will not be picked up, and residents could be cited and made to appear before the city’s new community court. There, they can be fined up to $1,000.

The city’s contract haulers from Waste Management Inc., visit homes twice each week. Tim Smith with the Strategic Planners office said yard waste will be picked up on the second collection each week. On that day, residents can put out extra bags of leaves and bundled branches.

“More garbage is picked up on the first day of pickup so there’s not room on the truck, but on the second day there’s not as much trash,” Smith said.

Delivery of the new containers continues this week and is expected to be completed next week. Weather delays have caused the process to take longer than had been initially announced.

Orders are also being taken for the smaller, 32-, 48-, or 64-gallon, containers that should arrive in about a month. Residents will also be able to get a second container for an additional $5 per month and people with medical conditions who are unable to roll a container to the curb can apply for door service.

Garbage bills going out this month reflect the new cost up $1.55 to $12.60 per month. The fee is included with charges for water, sewer and gas.

Garbage scheduled regularly to be picked up on Thursday, Thanksgiving, will be collected inside the municipal limits, but not outside Vicksburg, a Waste Management spokesman said. Residents outside the city contract with various independent haulers for garbage collection.

New rules also go into effect Jan. 1 that require businesses to have waste containers in some type of enclosed area. City officials said they expect the change to reduce the amount of litter on the streets.

“We’ve seen a lot of trash blowing out of dumpsters,” Leyens said.

City officials established the new Community Court to hear code violations such as zoning matters, litter or building codes. The court began meeting once a month starting Oct. 1 to reduce the number of cases going before the city’s municipal court, which meets twice a week to handle misdemeanor criminal matters.

Local attorney J. Mack Varner was appointed by the city board as the first Community Court judge. Court is held at the Vicksburg Police Department.