According to a change in Hilliard's city code, residents may keep trash and recycling receptacles stored outdoors beside their homes, and they are not required to be screened from public view.

Previously, the city code required containers to be kept "at the rear of the building or in an enclosed area."

Citations occasionally were issued to residents and businesses when the receptacles were not behind or inside buildings, said David Ball, director of communications for Hilliard.

"Residents who cannot practically create enclosures in which to place containers can put them in discrete locations to the sides and rear of their homes," Ball said.

Hilliard City Council on March 11 voted 5-0 to approve the code change. Tom Baker was absent and a replacement has not been named for Albert Iosue, who resigned Feb. 10.

City planner John Talentino said enforcement primarily would be "complaint-based."

"We don't proactively look for violations," he said. "Most of the time it's not an issue."

However, code-enforcement officers will respond to complaints from residents, Talentino said.

The code change included another new guideline: Refuse should fit completely within a receptacle in usual circumstances, but it could overflow from the top in some instances, Ball said.

Council member Nathan Painter said one example is that packing materials often are oversized and might not wholly fit inside many receptacles.

"We live on Amazon," he said.

The code previously did not address overflow from containers.

City Council did not change regulations limiting when receptacles could be placed curbside for collection.

According to city code, receptacles cannot be placed along the street before 5 p.m. on the evening immediately preceding collection days and they must be removed no later than 9 a.m. the morning following collection days.

Hilliard's collection day with Local Waste Services is Tuesday.

In a related matter, the city is preparing to solicit bids for a new solid-waste-disposal and recycling-collection contract.

The city's five-year contract with Local Waste Services ends June 30, according to Larry Lester, deputy director of public services for Hilliard.

The city is seeking a new five-year contract that would extend to June 30, 2024, Lester said.

Depending on the terms of the contract, automated collection of solid waste, yard waste and recyclable material for some residents might be included, he said.

Partial automated collection of solid waste and recyclable material and the complete automated collection of yard waste are alternate bids, respectively, included in packages the city prepared for vendors, Lester said.

Collection day also could switch from Tuesday to Wednesday or Thursday or remain unchanged, he said.

A bid opening is set for March 28 and legislation to approve a new contract will be prepared as soon as possible after that, Lester said.