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Garbage, Litter Discussed in South Amboy

By: Joseph L. Kuchie

litterSOUTH AMBOY – Litter problems and the amended garbage ordinance were both discussed at last Wednesday’s South Amboy city council meeting.

Resident Michael Hegarty of 228 Augusta Street brought his concerns about the litter in town to the council during the meeting’s public session. He explained that people who purchase food and drinks from local businesses are leaving garbage in alleys and streets all over town.

“The alley ways, especially the alley way between 2nd and Main Street, are disgusting,” Hegarty said. “If you walk that alley way [between 2nd and Main] there’s got to be a couple thousand of those little shots of booze, all kinds of litter and bottles, flattened cans… it looks terrible.”

Council President Mickey Gross asked Business Administrator Camille Tooker to take note of the problem and speak with the code enforcer to look into the alley way situation.

Hegarty also brought an unsolicited ad newspaper that is constantly thrown on his lawn and throughout South Amboy. He noted that most of these papers either get thrown away or wind up in a storm drain and the ads don’t represent businesses in South Amboy.

“I don’t want to see this but I can’t stop it…I don’t want this litter,” he said. “People have 10 or 15 of these on their front porch soaking wet looking terrible. I’d like the council to try and address this.”

Mayor Fred Henry noted that the city has had issues with these paper companies before but the city will reach out again to follow up. Council President Gross, who worked code enforcement for over 30 years, noted that it is very difficult to deal with a situation like this but the city will look into it.

An ordinance amending the city’s garbage codes was added to the agenda on Wednesday as well. If adopted the changes would include extending the time to remove garbage cans from the curb from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. and fining first time violators $75 rather than making them go to court for a first offense.

Despite these changes, resident Stan Jankowski of 135 John Street was concerned more about the time that residents have to wait to put their garbage out. Currently residents are not allowed to put out their garbage cans on the curb until 8:00 p.m. the night before the pick-up date, which Jankowski thought was unfair to the city’s senior citizens.

“People nowadays are older and more senior like,” he said. “To ask a person who goes to bed at 7:00 p.m. to wait until 8:00 p.m. to put out their garbage is totally ridiculous.”

Mayor Henry noted that the ordinance was only up on first reading so there was still time for the council to go back and review the garbage codes. He also clarified that Jankowski was asking to amend a part of the code that was not included in this ordinance’s changes.

Another part of the garbage codes that raised concerns was the section that requires residents to store their garbage receptacles in the back of their property. An on-going issue has been residents and business owners getting fined for keeping their receptacles on the front or side of their building.

“You’re asking people that are up in age to put their garbage in the backyard and lug it up at eight at night,” Jankowski said. “Nine months out of the year it’s dark at 8:00 p.m. and you’re going to have them lug all their garbage out [in the dark]…God forbid someone is hurt…they are going to look up this ordinance and say ‘they made me do it’.”

Mayor Henry explained that the city continues to look into this section of the garbage codes as well. He recognized that there are some businesses and homes that logistically cannot store their receptacles behind the building and that storing them on the side as far back as possible would suffice.

“We are looking for people to move it away from the front of the house,” he said. “If it’s on the side toward the back and it’s kept neat I don’t think we have a major problem with that.”

All members of the council were in attendance for the meeting. South Amboy will hold the monthly business meeting on June 3rd at 6:00 p.m.

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4:30 p.m.
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City Hall, High St.

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WED. Jan. 31
• City Council, Regular,
7 p.m.
City Hall, N. Broadway

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• City Council, Business,
6 p.m.
City Hall, N. Broadway

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