CALEXICO — As part of its Downtown Action Plan, the Calexico City Council on Jan. 22 was expected to mull requiring downtown merchants to lock their trash bins or face penalties.
Review of the proposed amendment
to the city trash disposal code, which was up for preliminary approval but with
no public hearing, occurred after this newspaper’s deadline.
Designed to beautify
downtown and increase commerce, the action plan involves several components.
proposal would put the onus on downtown merchants to abate the problems of the
now-unlocked bins attracting scrappers, being a source of litter and being set
ablaze by arsonists, city officials have said.
“Recently, there has been
an increase in litter, debris and refuse accumulating in the city’s downtown
area, which is creating an unclean, fire-prone and malodorous condition,” City
Attorney Carlos Campos reported in the Jan. 22 meeting agenda.
He added, “Existing
garbage containers are constantly being overfilled, resulting in excess garbage
flowing onto streets, sidewalks and alleyways. In addition, business owners and
tenants are not keeping their garbage containers locked and persons are rifling
through them for food, recyclable materials and other such items, leaving
garbage all over downtown streets and sidewalks.”
Among the changes
proposed to the “garbage disposal” ordinance is a new entry defining the
“downtown collection area,” and a list of certain requirements to be met within
that collection area, including:
Locked containers: All trash bins to be
loaded into trash trucks must be equipped with locks and kept locked at all
times, except when refuse or recyclables are being deposited or collected;
Identifying information on all containers:
All trash bins must have both the name of the owner and tenant written on the
front of the container in paint or indelible ink;
Containers may not block passage:
Containers must not block or impede any passages on any street, alley or
sidewalk in the collection area, even if the building is abandoned or not in
Shared containers prohibited: No trash
bins shall be shared between businesses in the downtown collection area; each
business must have its own container;
Overflow prohibited/additional collection
required: No trash bins shall be permitted to overflow. If a business’ trash is
overflowing, it is the owner’s/tenant’s responsibility to contact the service
provider and make arrangements for “an increased level of service.”
Finally, the proposed amended
ordinance includes a new penalties section, stating violations “may be punishable by criminal action, civil
action and/or administrative penalties. Violations are considered public
nuisances and each day a violation continues is a separate offense,” according
to the report to the council.
The report does not
specify specific penalties.
collection area is roughly bounded by Highway 98/Birch Street to the north from
Harold and Paulin avenues, south to the international border, and from Fifth
Street south to the border between Mary and Emerson avenues.