An ordinance enforcing a limit on the volume of tree and trash debris to be picked up by public works crews is expected to be coming down the pipeline in the City of Greenville.
The recommendation of such an ordinance was made during Tuesday’s public works committee meeting after an extensive discussion regarding the issue of excess debris having to be picked up by public works, particularly generated from tree cutting.
“We’ve had some really unique situations recently with large volumes of debris in front of houses,” public works committee member and Ward 1 Councilman Al Brock said. “Councilman Wilson (James) has mentioned several times of landlords dumping considerable amounts of debris, people cutting trees and one particular instance where tree cutters came to somebody’s house and lined the entire street with five or six feet of large limbs and debris from pine trees.”
He asserted that the volumes of trash and debris being put out is seriously inhibiting the ability of public works crews to stay on track with regular trash pick up.
“I’ve got several questions and concerns on how we can try to tighten down on this,” Brock said, noting it was unclear to him whether the current ordinance addresses the volume of trash and debris allowed by the city.
Planning director Carolyn Williams who was also in attendance said the recently adopted tree ordinance did not address such.
Public works director Jermaine Thornton and committee members Mayor Errick Simmons, Wilson and Brock discussed what would be a reasonably enforced limit and fine resulting from violation of the ordinance.
Williams recited section 4-102 of the ordinance pertaining to tree limbs which says, “All tree limbs placed or left for trash collections shall be cut in length which do not exceed 5 ft. and no tree limb in excess of 9 in. in diameter.”
Brock’s follow-up question was, “But, can you put out five truckloads of it?”
The answer to that question did not exist in the current ordinance, hence, the committee’s recommendation to set a maximum volume for trash and tree debris not to exceed 8 ft. in length and 5 ft. in width (roughly the size of a pickup truck load), enforceable by a fine of $250 to be paid by residents and landlords.
The committee voted unanimously to send the recommendation to full council for consideration.
“It’s not to deter any body from doing work or to target anybody, but we want to clean the city up. And in order to clean the city up, we’ve got to do this,” Wilson said.
Brock added, “We’ve just got to adhere to an ordinance for the city to be able to manage the volume of trash. We cannot have these excessive amounts of commercial landlords’ trash getting dumped in the street and that’s why we’re doing this.”