PAWTUCKET – New city policies aimed at making Pawtucket a cleaner place and reducing complaints about dumped items are set to go to the City Council’s ordinance subcommittee.
The changes on bulky waste clarify that such waste must be scheduled for pickup with the Department of Public Works and sets fines related to violations, according to Public Works Director David Clemente.
A new standard operating procedure will set expectations and create a system for addressing items left illegally at the curb. The changes essentially loop in the Department of Public Works for immediate responses instead of just having it be a function of zoning.
To accommodate the changes, the DPW is proposing the addition of a stake body truck with lift and two positions to help keep up with the problem.
Bulky waste monitoring will be on a two-week rotation. In week one, the crew will follow the trash collection routes, picking up any unscheduled bulky waste on city sidewalks along with any emergency requests that come up.
Week two will be slightly modified, with the crew following the same process as week one for Mondays and Tuesdays, but then one employee moving on Wednesday to Friday to inspect recyclable materials for contamination and helping zoning in the fining of violators. The other employee will be used elsewhere in the DPW, including for graffiti removal and sign repairs, all part of an effort to enhance the overall look of the city. Days could be modified slightly based on hot spots of contaminated loads that pop up from time to time, say officials.
The new employees will be cooperating with zoning by documenting and writing fines for both bulky waste violations and recycling violations.
Under the policy, bulky waste items must be scheduled with the DPW and the appropriate fees paid prior to pickups being done. It sets limits on number of items for residential homes of various sizes, including on refrigerators, water coolers, TVs, mattresses and box springs.
Violations for not scheduling pickups with the DPW would result in fines of $100 for the first offense, $200 for the second offense, and $400 for the third or subsequent offense.
The city will keep its process for having MTG Disposal grab bulky waste items, as it’s done since outsourcing trash collection, said Chief of Staff Dylan Zelazo. These changes deal with people who don’t schedule pickups either because they haven’t gotten the message about the rules or they choose to ignore them.
As crews grab items left out, the offending residents will be fined as it’s discovered that they’re not on the list for pickup, Zelazo said, recouping some of the money spent on the positions. The hope, he said, is that people who aren’t complying now start doing so. People shouldn’t have to look at old furniture for weeks on end, he said.
This situation has been a priority of the City Council, he said, as residents have continually thrown out items without appointments. The expectation is that this change will resolve many of the complaints that have been coming from neighbors of the properties, he said.