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How long should the city give people to pick up trash before citing them under the city’s trash ordinance?

Asked at Massachusetts Street on October 18, 2005

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Photo of Deanna Favand

“I say two weeks. That gives them enough time to make arrangements if they don’t have a way to haul it off.”

Photo of Paul Adams

“I would say no longer than two to three weeks after they post the notice. That’s more than ample time.”

Photo of Jackie Rocha

“Something like three days, just because is doesn’t look very clean or sanitary to have trash in the lawn.”

Photo of Josh Rodewald

“A week is fair, I’d say. That’s plenty of time to clean it up.”

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Jclarkson 12 years, 2 months ago

I prefer a speed bump over a speeding ticket :-)

tell_it_like_it_is 12 years, 2 months ago

We've dealt with this time and again in my town and this is my answer...when my neighbors and the city pays the payments and the taxes on my place thats the day they are going to tell me how they want me to keep my place.

GreenEyedBlues 12 years, 2 months ago

TWO TO THREE WEEKS? Are these folks joking? If you're too busy/lazy to pick up filth off of your lawn and leave it there for SO long to necessitate an order from the City asking you to clean up...

I think you should hop on The T and move to Kansas City. Yes, I took the OffToTheRight defense. =)

This type of thing hits the sensitive nerves and triggers my OCD like none other.

trinity 12 years, 2 months ago

if they're talking about overflowing garbage cans left sit for day on end, sure, get 'em out of there&charge residents...however, if they're talking about beer/booze bottles littering the lawn of an apartment building, hey now-whole 'nother story! my kid lives in the Oread section...betwixt two verrrry busy drinking establishments...just isn't fair to hold her responsible for the partiers who stagger past her house and toss their bottles&trash in her apartment building's yard!

good grief, for once the LJW has a kaboodle of really interesting articles&good reads-and this is the question of the day. oy.

bankboy119 12 years, 2 months ago

I don't think the city has a right to cite people. Half the art around town looks worse than trash sitting out in peoples' yards. I think they should pay them.

Richard Heckler 12 years, 2 months ago

24 to 48 hours is excellent. 15 days allows the wind to blow it elsewhere. I know apartment managers who visit once or twice a week to clean up as well as have the lawn maintenance company police the area. Could it be that some folks don't give a damn? Did some parents forget to teach responsibility?

badger 12 years, 2 months ago

How much trash are we talking? And what kind?

I mean, bags of household waste are nasty, and can attract some pretty hostile vermin. They're a public health threat and a disease breeding ground. Two weeks is way too much time to give someone to let that keep sitting around. I say 72 hours is plenty of time, and if someone is older, or disabled, or just plain not able, I imagine that there are any number of charitable organizations in Lawrence that could be contacted to help out with fees or removal.

Now, if we're talking about furniture, or whatnot, I'd be willing to allow a little more time for someone to make arrangements. An old washing machine, so long as the lid's been removed (so kids can't climb in and get stuck), is less likely to attract vermin than rotting meat and produce and used Kleenex, and less likely to provide an environment where germs can flourish.

lunacydetector 12 years, 2 months ago

who are we to say what 'trash' is? what gives us the right? perhaps an old car battery setting in someone's yard really is someone making a statement about the high price of gasoline and how we need to drive electric cars. other items on display in people's yards (beer bottles, hamburger wrappers etc) could really be a statement about the pollution inhabiting mother earth. this is lawrence, KS, home of the university of kansas is it not? what about those pesky balloons at the car dealerships, polluting my vision?

so many questions, so few answers.

does the city still rent garbage from artists to be displayed on mass? and those houses in old west lawrence with crap hanging from trees or sitting in the front yards - where is the city to pick up THAT crap? oh, that's right, it's called "art." who are we to say what "trash" err "art" is?


staff04 12 years, 2 months ago

I guess they would have to define the kind of trash. For construction waste, I'd be alittle more lenient, as long as it was kept neatly piled or in a dumpster, maybe a couple of weeks. If it was household garbage, which coudl potentially create a public health problem, I say it needs to be cleared within 48 hours.

Remember when you could just burn all your trash in a 55 gallon drum at the edge of the driveway? Burn day was Thrusday when I was young. Man, did the town stink. But, no need for those pesky sanitation trucks...

nuke_france 12 years, 2 months ago

you mean the roundabouts and speedbumps? I agree!

b_asinbeer 12 years, 2 months ago

We have to ask though, what is considered trash? If it's in your own private lawn/property, and you consider it a decoration, the city has no right to tell you what is trash and what is not.

Then again, if it's clearly trash (like a pile of banana peels that has accumulated to a total height of four feet in the front lawn), then I say 1 week.

If all else fails, ban trash! That should take care of our problems.

Richard Heckler 12 years, 2 months ago

Charge the tenants at least $100 and 5 week ends of cleaning up trash in addition to 24 - 48 hours notice. If they don't pay or clean up turn off the water.

b_asinbeer 12 years, 2 months ago

I personally love roundabouts. Not too fond of speed bumps though.

dysfunctionmama 12 years, 2 months ago

Well, I agree that the city can't really decide what is trash and what is not. HOWEVER, I am sick to death of picking up the trash and bottles out of my yard. I have found evrything from a bag of pot to a pony keg, although the pony keg was put just over my back fence. I have come home late on a Saturday night to find my driveway full of cars that are not mine, my driveway blocked, etc. And the real problem with that is then making the circuit between the three or four houses that are throwing parties to determine who is parked in my driveway. Living in a college town, I expect some of this, and try to be a good neighbor to the kids around me, but sometimes, it gets to be a bit much. Maybe an etiquitte class on campus?

trinity 12 years, 2 months ago

e_m, i ADORE your suggestion, the roundy at 14th&ohio with the chain link can/bottle "depository"! talk about working on fine motor skills-AND sinkin' shots!

jonas 12 years, 2 months ago

UnoMasBob: Thanks for the tip. Guess I'd better go out and clean up that mule. (Although it was really a pure-bred donkey, does that count?)

By the way, the T doesn't go to KC. The farthest you could get is a couple miles down K10, which I suppose could be far enough, with the right supplemental leverage.

Ahhh. . . Macon47. The wonderful song of the North American Crabby Conservative. It fills my heart with such bitter-sweet emotion.

Awk. . .hang'em'all awk. . . toughjustice. . whooperill!

/tears up

bankboy119 12 years, 2 months ago

I think that if some one is allowed to keep a human foot in a bucket on their porch then ANYTHING should be allowed. I know we've already talked about the rest of the trash, excuse me, art, around town and that speaks for itself. Lawrence is just too inconsistent with its rules.

Ban cell phones, don't ban DVD players?

Ban fireworks in the city because of danger but let the morons who work for the city shoot them off? Oh that's real great.

Try to ban soda in school because of sugar but let highly acidic juice stay? Great let's not let the kids get fat but let their teeth rot. Juice decays teeth faster than pop.

Make so many ridiculous restrictions on businesses that many large companies want nothing to do with Lawrence, and then complain about tax revenue.

Keep up the great work city commish!

donsalsbury 12 years, 2 months ago

Okay, people's 'yards' are really made up of two different things: private property, and public right-of-way.

Why can't the city just employ people (or slave people out for community service) to clean up the sidewalks? Is it not a public right-of-way?

For private property, there is such a thing as neighborhood covenants. Perhaps that should be developed and enforced for Oread. Aside from that, you've got civil lawsuits.

I don't think the city has anything to do with private property, unless it creates a fire hazard or toxic fumes (not just unpleasant views or odors). But, I disagree with the lawnmowing ordinance, so there you they'll require that we bag all our clippings, otherwise it's 'trash'. . .

ive_got_my_ascot_n_my_dickie 12 years, 2 months ago

I reported my white trash neighbors down the street when they had garbage and old carpet remnants heaped in their front yard for three weeks. Two days after I made the call, they cleaned the place up. It's my neighborhood, too. If you want to live like a hillbilly, do it INSIDE your house. Once you start bringing down my property value, however, I will get in your way and stop you from trashing the neighborhood.

bankboy119 12 years, 2 months ago are your rights more important than theirs? Why can't they heap carpet art up in their yard? Looks as good as the rest of the crap around town.

rhd99 12 years, 2 months ago

One's trash (like roundabouts) is another's treasure. The city of arts? Yeah, if you consider trash a work of art. Sounds to me like there is no enforcement once again because the CITY does not have the GUTS to say ENOUGH is ENOUGH! Look, common sense says this: YOU threw CRAP on the ground, YOU pick it UP, or you pay the price.

jonas 12 years, 2 months ago

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jonas 12 years, 2 months ago

Yay! It works. Can anyone else see the characters?


hottruckinmama 12 years, 2 months ago

my neighbors just painted their house the most god-awful shade of green i think i've ever seen (think of neon colored pea get the picture). i don't like it. not one bit. do you think i should be allowed to throw a fit and demand they change the color? of course not. but that is the way we are headed not only in this town but all over. its a slippery slope i tell ya!

jonas 12 years, 2 months ago

bablefish was close

this is a test, i apologize, think nothing of it.

If outside of house is clean, it is much better.

But I was just wondering if you could see the characters instead of the squares. I was trying out the language function on my computer.

Thanks, though.

nlf78 12 years, 2 months ago

I think that it's my property and I can do with it as I please. I prefer not to leave trash outside for a large number of days. But I'm tired of all the banning and new rules they are coming up with! There is such a thing as "over-governing". Oh, I'm all for the Roundabout Game!!!

ive_got_my_ascot_n_my_dickie 12 years, 2 months ago

Ugly house paint is an eyesore but it doesn't attract rodent and bugs like a trash heap does. Trash must be addressed.

Ceallach 12 years, 2 months ago

jonas: just now getting an opportunity to read today's posts -- I see your characters -- they don't say nuttin but there reel purdy. :)

sunflower_sue 12 years, 2 months ago

Trash? Let's ban squirrel feeders and mosquito breeders. ;o)

p.s. I guess I can't "think outside the box"...didn't get a couple of posts up there.

l_eustacy 12 years, 2 months ago

Neighborhood watch patrol. When they litter, they get tackled and arrested

Google: Japanese to English: It is test. Exemption do. You think what, it is. When it is the place where outside of the house is clean, one is good, you think is.

Ceallach 12 years, 2 months ago

I get more than a little tired of picking up trash from my front yard. I live near Naismith and someone is always littering the front yards on their walk between here and Ousdahl. Cretins!

The city will pick up large trash objects, free of charge, you just need to call them. There is no excuse for trashing up a yard. Although I do not hold with those "covenant" neighborhoods, talk about stiff necks!!! People who want the advantage of living in a city should have to keep trash out of their yards. I think 48 hours after notice is plenty of time to allow.

omb: I totally agree about cigarette butts, just who do the smokers, who so glibly throw them around, think should pick up their trash? Apparently anyone but them.

badger 12 years, 2 months ago


Mozilla converts your kanji to question marks.


sunflower_sue 12 years, 2 months ago

I just love the people who drive down my road and throw thier partially empty Sonic bags out the window. Someone actually did this in front of me once. Since she appeared to be a high school aged girl, I decided not to chase her down and crack her head open with my tire iron. (Yes, it gave me instant "road rage".) Thank goodness I came to my senses quickly and realized that a group of my peers would have found my offense to be the greater of the two.

jonas 12 years, 2 months ago

Yeah, that was what was supposed to be there.

Liberty 12 years, 2 months ago

A rule of thumb, if an offending item harms your neighbor, such as lowering the value of his/her house because of the offending item that could be removed or parked in a garage etc. . . Then there might be a basis where after neighbors have verbally spoken with the offending neighbor and no action has been taken to resolve the issue; then the written complaint could be filed by the neighbors for appropriate action in a timely manner to resolve the issue.

Also more than one neighbor would have to file a complaint to validate a complaint. This would limit the evil neighbor that just likes to complain and stir up trouble against his/her neighbor over nothing.

Liberty 12 years, 2 months ago

I think that the city should not have a time limit or determine what is trash. They should however have a method for people (neighbors) to file a complaint if a place gets too bad, After a fair warning has been given by the citizens through the city to the person in writing, a time limit should then be established for the removal of the offending waste item/s or the city after said time limit expires; hire the removal of the offending waste item/s and bill the residence for the real removal costs of the offensive item/s.

lowoncash 12 years, 2 months ago

The city should give them 24 hours. People need to stop being litter bugs and pick up their crap.

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