On Nov. 1, the $25 fine for taking your garbage can to the street too early, or leaving it out on the street too long, is scheduled to go into effect.

The $25 fine included in the City of Greensboro 2022-2023 budget was to go into effect on July 1. However, after the City Council learned of the new fine in July, the implementation of the new source of revenue for the city was postponed for 120 days.

In July, City Councilmember Yvonne Johnson asked that the decision to institute the fine be “tabled.” Johnson, however, did not make a motion to table the fine or a motion to reconsider the vote establishing the fine.  As a result, the City Council took no action on the implementation of the new $25 fine.

Johnson said, “I’d like to talk about other ways that we can have the same result and encourage neighbors to be neighbors.”  She said that she had heard from a lot of her constituents who didn’t like the idea of being fined for leaving their garbage or recycling cans out on the street.

While no City Council action was taken, the implementation of the fine was postponed for 120 days by city staff.

A cynic might surmise that the main reason for the 120 moratorium was to push the implementation of the unpopular new garbage can fine past the July 26 City Council election – and there is some evidence that is the case.

The City Council hasn’t discussed other methods of encouraging residents to roll their garbage cans to and from the street in a timely manner or, as Johnson suggested, tabled the fine.

The press release announcing the new $25 fine states, “In order to avoid a fee, residents should be sure your trash and recycling containers are at the curb no more than 48 hours – from 7 am the day before service to 7 am the day after your service day.”

The City of Greensboro ordinance Sec. 25-13 states, “Solid waste shall not be placed at the curbside prior to the day preceding the scheduled collection day.”

The ordinance does not state prior to 7 a.m. the day preceding the collection day.  So, if someone chooses to place their garbage and recycling bins at the street at 3 a.m. the day preceding their collection day they would be in compliance with the city ordinance, but still subject to a $25 fine.

So according to the press release the city intends to start fining people who are in compliance with the ordinance.