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Council talks about lids on garbage cans, basketball hoops off streets

At Monday night’s Committee of the Whole meeting, Alderwoman Diane Hatzenbuhler introduced two measures to help make Amsterdam’s streets cleaner and more orderly.

Hatzenbuhler has proposed a local law that would require all residents to place their garbage, bagged or otherwise, inside garbage cans with lids, and store them out of sight when not in use.

According to Hatzenbuhler, “The issue arose because people are putting trash out in plastic bags with no trash can and no lid. My suggestion is to [pass] a local law that [requires] all the garbage has to be in a clear plastic bag, and it has to be in a trash can with a lid on it so the birds can’t come and get to the garbage. Then I was requesting that the trash cans be stored out of site…because right now you drive down the street and you have trash cans lying in the front.”

Alderman Ron Barone pointed out that there are current rules about having garbage cans out, and suggested that citing more offenders could help the problem.

“They are being cited,” said Mayor Ann Thane and added, “I understand Diane’s concern. My only worry about his one is that…you are telling people that they have to buy a trash can. And for some people, they are not going to be able to afford a trash can…I just don’t know if you are going to be able to get compliance.”

“If we had a way to help I could understand…it’s a burden,” said Barone.

“You can buy one cheaply,” said Hatzenbuhler, “a lot of landlords supply them.”

According to Corporation Counsel Gerard DeCusatis, residents can already be cited for leaving out trash that attracts animals, but the city lacks resources to enforce the rule.

DeCusatis suggested looking at a proposal originally discussed in 2011 which contained language  clarifying proper receptacles and storage locations and would also make it easier for the city to remove bulk items left on the sidewalk. If enacted, the Department of Public Works employees could pick up the items and generate a bill for the property owner without having to go through the codes department.

Also discussed was an ordinance to ban movable basketball hoops from city streets. Barone said that he had received complaints from residents and pointed out a spot on Division Street that was problematic.

“Those kids are right in the middle of the road. That’s a two-way lane… I can understand where people get frustrated and they call,” said Barone.

According to the Amsterdam Police Department, it is already against the law for anyone to obstruct traffic. After the meeting, Hatzenbuhler said that even when players move out of the way of traffic, it still creates a nuisance for drivers.

Council members agreed to continue to discuss the two measures.

About Tim Becker

Tim Becker is the owner of AnthemWebsites.com LLC which publishes The Compass. He serves as both editor and a writer.

11 Responses to Council talks about lids on garbage cans, basketball hoops off streets

  1. TJ Kelley says:

    I suggest to Ms. Hatzenbuhler that she also write an ordinance criminalizing the temporary storage of livestock in trailers on city streets. I understand that in the recent past a herd of goats escaped a trailer owned by a James Street resident and police resources had to utilized to bring the fugitive capra aegagrae to capture. Trash lids, hoops, and goats . . . the trifecta of public safety.

  2. Jodi says:

    Anne Thane takes a way the kids playground for a weed field now you are gonna take away something else for the kids they have nothing to do in this city as it is..Then people wonder why the kids are always in trouble they are bored

  3. diane says:

    We are not taking anything away……….the ordinance would require that it, the basketball hoop be in the back of the driveway, away from the street and sidewalk. We have many narrow streets in the city and with these nuisance items in the street, and the kids sometimes only moving 6 inches for the car/truck to get thru, we need our streets to be free of the nuisance items so people can safely drive on the street. If this was in the old days, it would not be an issue. However, too many parents today let the kids do whatever they want. On my street they constantly run in front of vehicles, ride bikes thru stop signs, do not wear helmets etc. Obviously if the officer does not see this as an issue when he drives by, he does not have to do anything. But, this does give him another tool to use to combat these ever increasingly popular items if they are posing a safety risk. Of course if everyone used common sense and put it in the driveway to begin with this would not be an issue around the city. Kids chasing basketballs into the road, are also a potential accident victim. Move them to the back yard and keep everyone safe and out of the streets.

    • Rob Millan says:

      Police can already enforce basketball hoops in the street as they can any other road hazard. There needs to be nothing specific to hoops much less something that would simply expand government.
      Do the research- it’s already on the books.

      • diane says:

        I have to disagree with you on this Rob, there are just too many complaints. Too many of these kids are so rude and I saw a note posted last night where they threw a ball at one car. I know about the existing law, this will give the officers more teeth to move them off the street and sidewalks and put them in the driveway at out of harms way, for all concerned.

      • Jessica says:

        I agree with Rob – New legislation is not needed. However enforcement of laws already on the books are needed.
        I am not saying we should to take away a healthy athletic activity (my thoughts on another comment) – just keep children out of the streets. It is not up to us to legislate where they are to move their hoops to. But it would be a pity if someone got hit because they play in the streets and our law enforcement isn’t issuing tickets for violators.

  4. Diane says:

    In regards to trash cans……..trash cans come with lids, but one would not know it, as they are rarely used. Many of the newer trash cans come with lids that are permanently attached.

    We have a serious crow issue a couple of times a year and if the cans were covered the crows could not get to it. We also have skunks, woodchucks, raccoons, cats, dogs and other varmits that eat thru the bags when left on the ground overnight or for days on end. Folks, we are not living in the 18th century here. We are a small community in upstate NY that is trying to comeback from the brink of death. But, what looks better when you come into the city: rows of trash cans waiting to be picked up, or a miss mash of trash bags with holes torn in them from the night before with raw garbage on the street or a dirty diaper ?

    Sometimes we are our own worst enemy and for all the chatter one would think we are talking a 500.00 dollar item here. We are talking 25.00 for a Rubbermaid 32 gallon rolling can with attached lid. They are sold at ACE, Lowes, Home Depot, WalMart, Target, and Big Lots. Many places and many styles to choose from. Your choice !

    The other part of this ordinance would be the storage of the trash can. When I brought it up the other night, my fellow alderman looked at me like I was crazy! Folks, trash cans do not go on the front porch or in the front yard! It is that simple. They have wheels so you can store them out of sight in the garage, at the back of the house, on the back side of the house or garage……….they wheel !! 🙂 It amazes me how many people leave their trash cans in the front of their house or on the front porch, are we that lazy.?…….sometimes.

    But we need to think of the greater good here……..we want to improve our city, we want to bring it back, we want young professional couples to move here and buy a house and remodel it and rent the other half out to help pay the mortgage and taxes. Everything we do in our everyday life has an impact on how our city moves forward. It hardly costs anything and we end up with a better looking and cleaner community, and more pride 🙂

    As we get older, I know change is hard, however, when something this positive can change the appearance of a street in one day…….I say try it, you might like it 🙂 Ladies, skip a week of getting your nails done, and guys skip on that extra beer, wine or Starbucks for the week……….there it’s paid for…..and we will have a cleaner city for it !

    Please call your alderman or alderwoman ask them to support these resolutions. Thank you. 🙂

    • TJ Kelley says:

      It’s so nice to see the esteemed alderlady develop such progressive views in the term of office. Politicos really do evolve. It’s not just a buzz word. Advocating beautification and managing the fine details of the community’s aesthetic presence is important. And she’s absolutely correct; improving our city will attract young professional couples, gay and straight, into the community. When the government cares, the community cares. I hope this translates to more flowers, more cleanup efforts, more volunteerism, more artistic representation.

      This is huge news here; let’s not bury the lead. Alderwoman Hatzenbuhler has officially changed policy direction from decrying the superfluous to championing the ‘little things win big games’ doctrine.

      • TJ Kelley says:

        But in a moment of serious critique, the alderwoman’s gross indifference is astounding, though hardly surprising. Before she makes the mighty presumption that a citizenry crippled not just by unemployment, but poverty, should skip their daily Starbucks and mani/pedi, needs to seriously consider her position.

        I know for a fact that the alderwoman is very well aware, as of recent weeks in fact, of the area demographics. Casino developers handed her demographic information. I saw it; hopefully she read it.

        *One in three children are living AT or BELOW POVERTY level.

        Montgomery Co. has the 8th highest property tax rate of counties nationwide when calculated as a share of home value. Worse yet, this alderwoman and her concurring colleagues further (I’ll be kind) disadvantage taxpayers by reducing the number of parcels on the tax role and distributing the wealth, I mean burden, to a smaller number of taxpayers. She advocates the demolition of property or supports the auction of property with restrictions on the bidder absolving the city of all liability, all of which inevitably puts a property back on track for demolition. Who does business this way?!

        She grabs her saber and climbs the mountain of rhetoric to spare the taxpayer the burden of city services, and yet now proposes legislation that requires every taxpayer to foot the bill for at least one $25 trash can with lid and wheels!

        She and her concurring colleagues decimate services and tools employees need to function. They cut $2 off the tax rate, then enter with the save-all of economic development attraction: the edict that all residents must have a garbage can valued at no less than $25.

        Get serious! I think someone needs a latte at Statbucks. The caffeine usually helps to wake up and pay attention.

        I’m off for my appt at the spa now.

    • Jessica says:

      I put out my new trash can WITH LID two weeks ago – damn thing cost $30. (As a single mom with limited income it actually did take a little savings to get it – and it’s a lesser expensive one, but of good quality so it should last)
      I put it out the night before trash pick-up. In the morning when I left for work, it was still there waiting for the garbage men. When I got home, the lid was GONE!!! Did it blow away? Why didn’t our kind garbage men put it back on my can?! I dragged my can back to my garage and walked up and down the street looking for my stray lid – sigh… gone forever!
      Last week I put my can out – without a lid – I really can’t justify getting a whole new can for just a lid! Again I left for work, again they hadn’t come yet. I got home around 6 pm and my can was rolling around in the middle of the street. How can I stop that from happening?! I am away at work all day!! Can the garbage men kindly bring my can up on my porch when they are done? Or even into my garage??!! That would be great!!
      I am sorry my garbage has no lid – if you see a stray lid, please let me know (I would like it back).
      I am sorry my can blew (from wherever the garbage men left it) into the road – I was busy earning a living and paying taxes and wasn’t home to retrieve it until after work.
      But I did plant flower seeds, swept my sidewalk, and mowed my lawn (doing what I can to make my city pretty) – I hope that helps compensate for my apparently poor manners concerning trash can etiquette. (At least I pay my taxes.)