City to crack down on unwanted garbage dumpingPublished 11:55am Wednesday, June 26, 2013
Hartselle officials are looking to crack down on those who empty trash into dumpsters and trash containers without permission of the property owners.
Councilman Kenny Thompson told the council Tuesday during a meeting that he has received complaints from a downtown business, which had its dumpster filled with trash from a neighboring business.
“Their dumpster was filled up with 10 bags of trash from a neighboring business,” Thompson said. “We need to do something to prevent this from happening.”
City Attorney Larry Madison said the city currently doesn’t have an ordinance covering unwanted dumping of garbage in trash containers. However, he suggested drafting an ordinance to cover those items, similar to its theft of services regulations.
“I’d want to have a very specific ordinance that would have both criminal and civil liabilities,” Madison said.
Councilman Tom Chappell said he wanted the council to be careful about passing another ordinance that could have selective enforcement.
“I hope that we don’t open up a can of worms on this issue,” Chappell said.
Madison said the burden of proof, however, would fall on the accuser.
“You’re going to have to be able to prove that somebody else did it,” Madison added.
Madison said he’s been a victim of unwanted trash in his garbage dumpster in the past.
“I certainly understand what they’re going through,” Madison said. “It’s a problem because you could have to pay for another pickup, and you aren’t able to use it for your own trash. It’s really a nuisance for the property owner.”
Madison said he would prepare a draft of the new ordinance at an upcoming council meeting.