City cuts number of containers to enclose

Published 12:00 am Thursday, January 23, 2003

Vicksburg officials have reduced the number of city-leased commercial garbage containers that need enclosures, but have not complied with their 7-month-old rules.

Tim Smith with the city’s strategic planner’s office said six smaller, commercial containers that can be replaced with the new 96-gallon residential containers have been identified. The smaller, commercial containers being replaced hold two cubic yards of trash while most businesses use containers that hold eight cubic yards.

“These departments that have the smaller containers are not making a lot of waste,” Smith said.

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That will still leave the city with 19 containers that must be enclosed to comply with rules passed by the mayor and aldermen in May. Originally, city officials had said there were 22 sites where containment areas were needed, but some of those sites had more than one container.

City Architect David Clement, who is overseeing the building of those enclosures, said the city is waiting on quotes from private contractors for the work. State law allows municipalities to seek written quotes from at least two vendors for work costing less than $15,000 instead of the more lengthy process of advertising for bids.

The containers must be enclosed by a wooden, concrete or brick fence at least 6 feet high. The enclosures must also have a gate with a latch and be on a concrete pad or asphalt surface.

Mayor Laurence Leyens has also promised that no business will be fined for not having the containers enclosed until after the city is in compliance with the ordinance.

A citation can carry a fine of up to $1,000.

Smith said that smaller 32-, 48-, or 64-gallon containers that some residents, particularly the elderly, have requested are also being delivered this week. He said it should take a couple of weeks to deliver all 500 that were ordered.

Residential customers, who saw a rate increase of $1.55 to $12.60 per month in November, get curbside pickup twice a week, which includes yard waste and limbs on the second day of collection.

The fee is included on bills for water, sewer and gas.