Program Gives Second Chance to Homeowners Who Have No Garbage Service
August 11, 2004
Residential property owners who might be violating illegal trash laws because they have no trash collection service for their properties are being given a chance to fix this problem.
A consortium of government agencies, including Contra Costa Environmental Health, the County Administrator's Office and the Office of Supervisor John Gioia, have stepped up efforts to reach out to property owners who do not have garbage service, and gives them the option of applying for an exemption or voluntarily signing up for the service. The identified properties lacking service have been sent initial notices, and 25% of the property owners contacted have responded. Those who didn't respond will be signed up for garbage collection service with its Franchised hauler, with the cost, along with associated fees, being billed to the property owner.
"The program allows us to work with property owners to eliminate illegal or uncollected trash in neighborhoods," says Ken Stuart, director of Contra Costa Environmental Health, adding that trash that is left uncollected poses serious health threats to residents by attracting disease-carrying rats, roaches and flies.
Stuart says that the program covers the unincorporated areas of the county, which has a mandatory subscription ordinance that requires property owners to be signed up with a collector for the collection and disposal of solid waste from their property.
According to Stuart, 78 property owners in the pilot area were identified as lacking this service and were informed they had 15 days to respond by either subscribing for the service or getting their properties exempted by proving they have approved alternatives to properly dispose of their trash.
In order to qualify for the exemption, Stuart says, property owners must undergo a history check for past complaints, as well as inspection of their property by a Contra Costa Environmental Health technician. The technician will also make sure the homeowner has leakproof containers for their garbage, and require proof from the property owner of garbage removal to an approved facility.
For more information about the mandatory subscription program, call Michele DiMaggio at 925-646-5225 x209.
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