Stricter rules on mattress disposal now in place

Stricter rules on mattress disposal now in place

NORTH PROVIDENCE – A new ordinance governing the disposal of old mattresses gives the town a needed means of enforcing a higher standard, say officials.

Stefano Famiglietti, head of the Town Council’s ordinance subcommittee that drafted the new rules approved by the full council last week, said officials are hoping this law makes a significant difference in overall cleanliness in town by acting as a deterrent to careless behavior.

“It is my hope that this will give the town the means by which to keep unsightly mattresses off of our streets, which all too often become home to rodents,” he said.

The following are some of the specifics of the new ordinance:

• Dry mattresses and box springs will be picked up by town workers by appointment only. The property owner or property occupant must make an appointment for pickup with the Department of Recycling & Refuse at 401-719-1610.

• Wet mattresses or mattresses with bed bugs will not be picked up by the town. In such a case, it is the responsibility of the property owner and/or tenant to transport items to the Central Landfill in Johnston for disposal. If the owner or tenant does not take this action and the mattress is left out, the town may, but is not obligated to, dispose of the mattress and charge the owner and tenant the costs through filing a tax lien.

• Property owners and/or tenants can’t place a mattress or box spring outside without first making an appointment for pickup with the department of recycling and refuse. Mattresses and box springs can only be left out on the date of scheduled pickup. Not following this procedure is a violation of the ordinance. Mattresses and box springs left outside will be tagged for removal within 48 hours.

If the mattress is still out in public after 48 hours, the DPW will remove it and the cost of removal, transportation and disposal will constitute a lien on the property.

• The Division of Inspection and/or the recycling coordinator or their designees are responsible for enforcement.

• Failure to comply with the requirements will result in a complaint being filed in North Providence Municipal Court with the progressive fine of $25 for the first offense, $50 for the second offense, and $100 for the third and subsequent offenses.

• Costs and penalties will constitute a lien on the property, which will accrue interest at 12 percent per year until debts are paid.

• A $15 fee for disposing of a mattress or box spring will remain as it's been.

Town rules previously required a resident to pay the $15 fee per mattress prior to having them removed, but the common practice was for the town to pick up mattresses even if the advance payment and permission hadn’t been obtained.