Grove City residents are being asked to retrieve their emptied trash containers before the stroke of midnight on the day of collection.

City Council on Nov. 19 approved a resolution to amend the city's trash container regulations.

The city's code previously required residents to remove their trash containers from the curb within 24 hours of the garbage collection.

Residents will be asked to move their containers by 11:59 p.m. the day of collection to their garage or to a spot at the side or rear of their home where the cans are not visible from the street or adjacent properties at ground level.

The legislation originally directed containers be removed from the curb by 8 p.m., but council members agreed that many residents might not return from work or social engagements to meet that deadline.

"What we're trying to address in this ordinance is we've had people call and ask questions about garbage cans, recycling left at the curb and looking at our code, we felt there was a need for clarification," said Councilwoman Christine Houk, who sponsored the legislation.

"We're looking to improve the residential character of our neighborhoods, reduce blowing waste (caused when) trash cans are not securely placed away at homes and to lessen the access to trash by animals and rodents," she said.

"The end goal here is just that everybody knows what the rules are and basically the enforcement of this section of our code," Houk said.

The ordinance includes a revised provision stating garbage, refuse and recycling must be placed in containers curbside or, in the absence of curbs, at the edge of a roadway, for collection. The container should not exceed 95 gallons and/or 50 pounds in weight when filled.

Residents will be able to continue using disposal bags in place of containers as long as the bags have a minimum thickness of 1.5 millimeters. The bags must have no holes or openings except for the top opening of the bag, be securely tied and weigh no more than 50 pounds when filled.

The regulations state residents should not put out their trash any earlier than 5 p.m. the day before collection day.

The regulations have also been amended to state yard waste should be set out for collection in clearly labeled reusable yard-waste collection containers or biodegradable yard-waste bags that do not exceed 50 pounds in weight.

Yard waste is defined as leaves, grass clippings, weeds, Christmas trees, bushes and brush and branch clippings.

Residents can tie brush and tree limbs only in 4-foot bundles that do not exceed 50 pounds in weight.

The city's enforcement of its trash regulations is "complaint-driven," Houk said.

The city will not be out "policing" residents over this issue, she said.

"We will not have our service people and building inspectors out doing trash inspections," Mayor Richard "Ike" Stage said.

"We have positive expectations that people will live up to this code once they have this information in their hands," Houk said.

Information about the new regulations will be inserted into the bills sent to homeowners by Local Waste Services, which provides trash collection service for Grove City, Stage said.

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