Police chief wants more lenient garbage ordinance

By on January 30, 2009

by Martha Quetsch
Elburn Police Chief Jim Linane wants the village to approve a less restrictive garbage pickup ordinance in response to residents’ concerns.

He suggested the village should allow people to put their trash cans out starting at 3 p.m. Tuesday, and bring them in from the curb by 9 a.m. Thursday, the day after garbage pickup.

“I proposed this change because in spite of what other towns are doing, I had concerns about seniors having to put their garbage out in the dark, on icy driveways, and about some businesses,” Linane said.

Under the current garbage ordinance the Village Board approved in May 2008, garbage bins may be placed on the parkway no earlier than 6 p.m. on Tuesday, and must be removed no later than 11 a.m. on Wednesday.

Linane recently researched garbage collection ordinances from more than 15 other towns in the area, and found that Elburn’s ordinance was among the least restrictive.

“In general, our current ordinance is comparatively lenient,” Linane said.

For example, in St. Charles, garbage cannot be placed at the curb before 7 p.m. the day before pickup.

Linane said during the first few months after the ordinance took effect, the Police Department distributed 1,000 flyers to first-time violators, a courtesy notice about the new regulation. During the fall, the Police Department issued approximately 90 tickets for violations of the ordinance.

People who objected to receiving a ticket had an opportunity to appeal the tickets, and the Police Department voided many of the citations based upon the circumstances, Linane said.

Alan Herra, a resident of Cambridge Avenue, was among those who received a ticket for violating the ordinance and was able to have it voided. During a Village Board meeting in December, he said he is unable to adhere to the ordinance’s deadline for removing trash cans from the curb because of the hours he works.

Some senior citizens told police that they wanted to be able to place their garbage receptacles on the parkway before dark. And business owners want to put their garbage out when they close for the day, which for many is at 5 p.m.

As a result of the number of people objecting to the ordinance for practical reasons, the Village Board in December approved a moratorium on the ordinance until the Police Department reviewed it for possible changes.

Another change Linane proposed for the refuse pickup ordinance is allowing residents to place bags of leaves on the parkway at any time during October and November. Under the current ordinance, they cannot place the bags at the curb until 6 p.m. Tuesday.

“It would make it a little easier for residents,” Linane said. “Currently, people who rake and bag their leaves on the weekend—some of them having 30 or 40 bags—have to put them someplace until Tuesday. So they have to move them twice.”

The village is seeking feedback from residents and businesses about Linane’s recommendation to make the garbage ordinance more lenient. To view the proposed ordinance, see Elburn news flash on the village website, www.elburn.il.us.