Garrettsville Village Council scheduled a public hearing for 7 p.m. April 14 to address legislation aimed at residents who dump their items on the curb.
“We’ve had a rash of people putting a lot of junk out on the curb,” Council President Tom Hardesty said. “Furniture, mattresses that kind of stuff. Right now we’re at a loss as to how we inflict compliance on this. We want to assess a fine right away. We’ll probably end up putting it on their taxes if they don’t comply.”
Oftentimes the curb piles originate with renters who move out, sometimes due to eviction or other short notice, council members said. Council would like to reduce the time frame for dealing with the trash piles from six weeks to two.
Noting that the village has terminated its contract with the Portage County Solid Waste Department, council asks residents not to use the bins at the Village Garage.
In a news release posted March 11 on Facebook, council stated that the cost of continuing recycling services would increase from $6,000 to $42,000 a year, and that was just for the existing bins. Acquiring bins to serve as northern Portage County’s recycling drop-off point would have pushed costs even higher.
Council members said the recycling dumpsters were frequently full or overflowing, sometimes with construction debris, electronics and other non-recyclable items. Sometimes so much nonrecyclable material was in the dumpsters that there was no option but to landfill the material and bill the city, Hardesty said.
After the bins were all cleaned out on March 8, someone came and dumped a load of trash in them. Unfortunately for the resident, identifying information was left in a bag at the site, enabling village officials to make a phone call. Faced with the choice of picking up the trash or being cited, the resident picked up the trash, Mayor Rick Patrick said.
Council will take steps to install gates to make the bin wholly inaccessible to the public. They are considering installing surveillance cameras as well.
So what’s an eco-conscious village resident to do with recyclables?
“I’m hearing that most of the garbage haulers have a recycling option. For a few bucks a month you can get that service,” Patrick said.
In addition, council hopes Portage County recycling outlines additional options they and village residents can work with.
Council approved returning to its previous pattern of two cleanup events per year. Because of Covid, there was only one last year. Council is eyeing the first week in July and a second one in October. The village’s annual community garage sale is set for the last weekend in June.
Council accepted the resignation of Councilman Larry Beatty effective March 8 and appointed former Councilwoman Sheri Johnson in his place. Johnson was duly sworn in and seated. Beatty isn’t disappearing, though: he will start training as a village zoning inspector on March 15.