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Pick up your trash, Columbus—before the city comes after you

Pick up your trash, Columbus—before the city comes after you

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Update: Legislation for stricter enforcement on illegal dumping was passed on Monday.

If garbage news is your journalism niche, then this next update is for you.

Councilmember Emmanuel V. Remy, chair of the Environment Committee, held a public hearing on Tuesday afternoon to review proposed changes to Title 13 of the city code: “Duties of the public—Storage and disposal of waste.”

The proposed changes –introduced by the Administrator of the Division of Refuse Tim Swauger –included “creating additional opportunities for solid waste and illegal dumping enforcement, strengthening enforcement for abandoned property set-outs and dumping in the right-of-way, and augmenting requirements for construction waste.”

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Councilmember Remy referred to the many ways illegal dumping occurs around Columbus as a “never-ending list,” including overflowing refuse containers, abandoned property, violations with 300-gallon containers, and illegal use of containers by non-residents. 

The provisions introduced to Title 13 on Tuesday were made in an attempt to “reduce litter throughout Columbus and make people’s responsibilities clear” and as “tools the city of Columbus is putting in its toolbox to address some of these challenges.”

One important proposed change allows the Division of Refuse and solid waste investigators to issue violations. All provisions of Title 13 are enforceable by any law enforcement officer or law enforcement agency.

When asked how the Division of Refuse will determine if the illegal dumping situation is improving in Columbus, Swauger replied that the division will do fieldwork establishing a baseline for highly-littered areas and surveying those areas over a period of time to determine growth or decline in dumping.

For more information on Title 13, click here to read the proposed legislation.

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