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Overflowing trash leads to dumpster ordinance review in Granite Shoals

Dumpsters at Lakefront Condos in Granite Shoals

The city of Granite Shoals is reviewing an ordinance that would manage where and how commercial dumpsters are placed in the city. Staff photo by Jennifer Fierro

A trash pickup billing misstep left garbage piled up over the Labor Day holiday weekend at Tropical Hideaway and Lakefront Condos and forced Granite Shoals leaders to dig into the city’s dumpster ordinance.

“There were tons of trash,” City Manager Jeff Looney said. 

The City Council discussed the issue and reviewed the dumpster ordinance during its meeting Tuesday, Dec. 14. It took no action, but councilors, city staff, and residents in attendance got a closer look at how commercial dumpsters are handled and where they are located in the city.

“The City Council struggled with it because it really is an issue of blending the old with the new and how to make it fair to everybody,” Looney said.

The Dec. 14 discussion stemmed from reports of overflowing dumpsters at two locations following the Labor Day holiday weekend.

Looney said a change in billing left residents at the condos with overflowing trash right after Labor Day. Those residents automatically have their trash bills withdrawn from their accounts and sent to City Hall. But Waste Management, which contracts with the city to pick up trash, wasn’t getting paid. So the company didn’t pick up trash from the dumpsters immediately after the holiday.

Trash pickup become a secondary issue for city leaders as they began examining an ordinance on where commercial dumpsters are located in residential areas. Councilors discussed whether the dumpsters should be put behind a fence or located where people can’t easily see them.

Looney offered “doing a complete study of commercial dumpsters in town and presenting it to Planning and Zoning.”

“We don’t want the trash trucks to tear up the roads,” he said. “And we want the areas to look nice instead of having community dumpsters out in plain view. If you’re going to have community dumpsters in plain view, there’s no ordinance to deal with that.”

The city manager said this is becoming an issue because of an increase in residential homes.

“We’re growing,” he said. “So how do you blend (what was in place before with a new way)? Everybody wants to get along, and they want to find a way where (the dumpsters) are unsightly. I think everybody wants to find a solution if they can. In some places, (residents) don’t have a place to put dumpsters.”  

In other news, city staff told the council they intend to change the hours that City Hall is open to the public after the first of the new year. Starting in January, it will be open from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday instead of closing at 5 p.m. 

The goal is for that final 30 minutes to be devoted to closing out the day and having small staff meetings as needed. 

People can still place their water bill payments in the drop box at City Hall, 2221 N. Phillips Ranch Road, during non-business hours.

jfierro@thepicayune.com