Greenville residents respond to the new city trash ordinance

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) – Greenville City Council members have approved a new ordinance on the illegal use of downtown dumpsters.

When traveling downtown, you may see overflowing trash from trash cans and dumpsters.

Resident, Bev Godwin says, “It looks terrible. There needs to be something done about the litter and the trash along the highways and roads. There just needs to be more education about how bad it is.”

City Council Member Marion Blackburn says, that though the dumpsters and trash cans are contracted to local businesses, not all of the trash is coming from those organizations.

“We have several city parking lots which have commercial dumpsters on them. That’s to say, these are dumpsters that are used by businesses and that also have private pickup services. Meaning, the City of Greenville’s solid and waste collection does not service them. The issue has been there’s been a lot of trash around these bins, these bins have been too full and they run over, and it’s because we suspect that businesses who don’t have contracts are using them,” Blackburn told WITN.

That’s why the Greenville City Council has a new ordinance in place to hold people accountable.

The ordinance says, the city of Greenville will start using its camera system to monitor unauthorized use of garbage bins and includes both civil and criminal penalties.

Civil fines begin at $100 for a first violation and increase to $250 for a second violation and $500 for three or more violations.

Godwin and Blackburn say they look forward to the good the new ordinance will do.

“I just hope that we can clean up, and look good, and be proud,” told WITN.

“As a city, we’re really trying to have the most attractive, most dynamic, most thriving downtown area as possible and this is part of that process. We’re learning how to do it better, businesses are learning how they need to do it better and we hope the end result is going to be a downtown that’s attractive for everyone to come and visit,” Blackburn agreed.

WITN previously spoke to businesses in downtown Greenville about the ordinance who say their hope is for the people who are paying for the dumpsters, to be the only ones to use them.

Those businesses say, that when the dumpsters overflow onto the ground, it’s a public health concern as the trash attracts pests and other animals and in general just looks bad.

Last Thursday night at the Greenville City Council meeting, the vote in favor of the ordinance was unanimous, 6-0.