The big news about the new yard waste and leaf collection ordinance passed by the Greensboro City Council last week was the end of loose leaf collection.
And that made the ordinance ideal for cramming in some other unpopular new regulations. It’s the old misdirection – while everyone is looking at the magician’s right hand waving the handkerchief, the left hand is busy picking pockets.
The city staff does not like garbage and recycling bins left on the street any longer than absolutely necessary. Last year the City Council agreed to make it a finable offense to leave your bins on the street longer than 48 hours.
The new ordinance reduces that time limit to 12 hours after the bins are emptied. So, if your garbage and recycling bins are emptied at 7 a.m., by law they have to be removed from the street by 7 p.m. If you happen to be working late that day, too bad, you are subject to a fine.
Also, this is really weird regulation and really only affects the unfortunate people who have Monday collection: It is now illegal to put your bins on the street before dusk on Sunday.
If your collection day is Tuesday, it is not illegal to put your bins on the street on Monday afternoon. If your collection day is Thursday, it’s not illegal to put your bins on the street on Wednesday afternoon, and if your collection day is Friday, it is not illegal to put your bins on the street on Thursday afternoon.
However, it is illegal for anyone in the city to have any bins on the street on Saturday or before dusk on Sunday.
The ordinance states, “(1) All containers or carriers placed on any street to be emptied shall, within twelve (12) hours after the contents thereof are emptied and collected, be removed from such street to the rear of the premises by the owner or occupant of the premises from which such container came to a storage place provided for that purpose, which storage place shall be nearer to the house or building located on the premises than to any street abutting such premises or to any lot line.
(2) No solid waste containers or any form of movable carriers shall be placed, kept or left on any street for any purpose whatsoever on Saturday or before dusk on Sunday.
(3) Any solid waste container or any form of movable carrier placed or found in violation of this section will be deemed a public health hazard and reported to the county environmental health division and be subject to the fine outlined in this chapter.”
The new ordinance also eliminates the use of any containers for yard waste other than the 95 gallon gray bin the city will provide or biodegradable paper bags.
The ordinance states, “No personal containers, other than biodegradable bags may be used.”
Also, according to the ordinance as amended by the City Council, from now until Feb. 28, 2024, it is illegal to put yard waste in a biodegradable paper bag, and beginning on March 1, 2024, it is illegal to put yard waste in any bag other than biodegradable paper bag.