Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

Local News

July 3, 2013

City to absorb extra refuse tab

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — All but one of the normal rules of refuse disposal are suspended for two weeks while residents clean up after the June 28 rain storm that flooded much of the city, Mayor Michael Tucker reiterated Tuesday.

There is no limit on disposal of bulk items — such as damaged appliances — and property owners do not have to wait until 24 hours before their normal pickup day to put items out to the curb.

There is no freedom from the ban on garbage picking, however. The prohibition is written into the city’s refuse and recycling ordinance and, for the first time, in the wake of messes reportedly made by storm-garbage pickers the past few days, it’s being enforced.

“Anybody who’s caught picking garbage will be arrested and prosecuted,” Tucker said. “We’re not going to put up with pickers going through garbage bags, and throwing stuff on the ground, while they’re looking for a tuna can ... .”

Also, electronic waste — TVs, computers and the like — still isn’t being picked up at the curb. An e-waste recycling drop-off site, staffed every first and third Saturday morning of the month, is open from 10 a.m. to noon this Saturday at Harrison Place.

Across the city, water-damaged items hauled from wet basements are piled high and wide in front of homes, in bags, boxes and cans or loose, awaiting unscheduled pickup by Modern Corp., the city’s private refuse hauler. The company agreed to run four additional garbage trucks through the city daily, through July 12, to collect storm waste.

The added expense, expected to ring up somewhere between $75,000 and $100,000, will not be passed on to property owners in the pay-as-you-throw program, it will be absorbed by the city, Tucker said.

“We’ll try to get that reimbursed (by the federal government) ... but if we can’t, the city will just eat it. People have enough other problems now,” he said. “All we’ll ask (of residents) is, let’s try to be real about it. We know some of the garbage out there isn’t flood-related; let’s keep that to a minimum.”

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