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Open letter to the Batavia City Council and the Code Enforcement Officer

By Peter O'Brien

 To those is certainly does concern,

As a tax paying property owner in this city, I demand that my garbage be picked up on the day scheduled.  I expect that with my taxes comes the services that are supplied in return.  This past Thursday I took my garbage can to the curb as I usually do.  I had one can that was severely damaged from several run-ins with cars.  However, there were bags inside that could have been removed without the need to lift the can. Instead of my trash being taken away, as I and every other property owner should expect, the can was left on the curb full of garbage.  It was obvious that it had been opened since the lid that is normally held in place on top of the can by the handle was found in my front lawn.  So since my garbage was not taken, the can stayed there in front of my house waiting till next week.

Today I received a notice from the Code Enforcement Officer that I needed to remove it in 48 hours or face a fine.  Well one problem with that.  I can have it there on Wednesday after 6:00am without it being an infraction.  Good work there.  Second problem, I am not the one who left the garbage there.  The city government and its contractors did.  Not only is this completely stupid that I should be fined for your failure to take my trash away but I believe it is a form of entrapment to charge me for that failure.

Furthermore, this is a policy that is going to drive away people who were ready to make a family here and pay taxes.  Your ratios of people receiving government assistance to those paying taxes is not very high.  Perhaps you should reconsider some of your policies that drive away those that make a living versus those that steal it through government force.


Peter O'Brien

Karen Miconi

This happened to a neighbor of mine, a day after the garbage was picked up. They left it to air out. They were sent a warning telling them the can had to be removed asap. Now wait a minute, the guy down the street, never gets sent anything for his garbage can, or the garbage, out of the bag, all over the place, for days, and the lawn knee high. Peter, I think its just who you know in this town, unfortunately. A warning would have been nice first (@:

May 10, 2010, 9:45pm Permalink
Bea McManis

Peter, I had that happen a few years ago while I was taking care of my mother. I wheeled the trash out and left the bag in the container. Like you, all they had to do was lift the bag out of the container.
They didn't.
By the time I realized that they didn't take it, the truck was already on the street behind my mom's house. I went backlots to the truck and demanded to know why they didn't take the bag.
I was told they don't lift containers.
Fair enough, but the container didn't need lifting.
After several words were exchanged, they agreed to come back and get the bag.
Fast forward a few years, and I left one bag out in front of the house. It was picked up but a few days later I received a letter in the mail saying I would be fined if I didn't remove the container from in front of my house.
I didn't have a container to move!
I called city hall and cleared that one up.
Annoying, yes. Worth considering moving, no.
Your complaint was valid up to the dig about those who receive assistance. You are a bright boy. Maybe you can find a place to live that only allows those who make a living to reside in their community. Good luck.

May 11, 2010, 6:06am Permalink
Beth Kinsley

I'm confused. We're not supposed to use containers? I had a similar experience but it was because the container was too big. I think mine was 50 gallons which is over the limit so I had to wheel it out to the curb and take the bags out every week which wasn't too big of a deal. I've never had any problems with smaller garbage cans - other than blowing away.

May 11, 2010, 9:06am Permalink
Bea McManis

Beth, had I known that I was supposed to take the bag out of the container, I would have. That happen just a few weeks after I moved in with my Mom and didn't know I needed to remove the bag.
You're right, it wasn't a big deal.
Silly me for thinking that the logical thing was to keep it in the container so it wouldn't blow down the street.

May 11, 2010, 11:23am Permalink
Beth Kinsley

Lots of people put out containers though. Was it a really big container? I remember I made a point to buy the biggest one that I could on wheels so that I could fit all my garbage in one can only to find out that it was too big for them to empty. Per the city code, the limit is 35 gallons. I think the one I bought was 50.

May 11, 2010, 11:29am Permalink
Beth Kinsley

Another tidbit I just found in the City Code:

No person other than an authorized employee or agent of the City shall disturb or remove any refuse placed for collection unless authorized by the owner, tenant or occupant of the premises from which the refuse originated.

Who knew that garbage picking was illegal? People have been doing it for years.

May 11, 2010, 11:31am Permalink
Chelsea O'Brien

Our first trash can, that was left here at the house, was 50 gallons, and we replaced it. We then had to replace that one in about 6 months. The most recent one was a 30 gal. tote, with wheels and lid that would "lock" in place by the handle. We just purchased two 30 gal. metals ones, hopefully they won't blow away as easily.

May 11, 2010, 11:38am Permalink

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