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Wheelie bin rule to be enforced in Hamilton

Corporation of Hamilton trash truck (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

Wheelie bins will soon become mandatory in the City of Hamilton, according to the municipality.

Fines could soon be introduced to penalise those who put out trash early or in inappropriate containers in the city. A spokeswoman for the municipality said the body has been working with the Government to address issues with waste collection in the city.

The spokeswoman said: “After consultation with [the Government] and the Attorney-General’s Chambers, it has been determined that the production of regulations under the Waste and Litter Control Act 1987 can meet the objectives of the corporation, which is working alongside the Government, to this end.”

Patrick Cooper, city engineer, said the legislation includes rules covering enclosed wheeled dumpsters, wheelie bins , which would prevent rats and other vermin from getting in garbage.

He said: “There will also be teeth in the Act enabling fines to be imposed upon those putting out their garbage early or in inappropriate containers, especially cooking oils and grease.

“The wheelie bin project has been in place for several years now where businesses, retailers and also residents can apply to the city for lidded bins as a way to keep garbage contained, not only keeping it free from rodents and other vermin, but they also serve to make the collection of the garbage easier, as they can be lifted by the refuse trucks and their contents deposited into the truck hopper, thus minimising any injury to the refuse collectors.”

The news comes after two incidents in which rats were seen running through high-end Hamilton storefronts.

The city spokeswoman said there has long been policies and procedures to control waste collection, but a lack of effective enforcement has caused problems.

She said: “The city encounters violations including waste being deposited outside of designated collection times, inappropriate items deposited on sidewalks, wheelie-bins being incorrectly used, liquid and semi-liquid items improperly deposited and items being improperly separated.

“The result is a sanitary and orderly city being compromised with unhealthy, unsightly and obstructive situations on city sidewalks that can adversely affect the public as well as increase health risks to the city refuse collection crews.”

The spokeswoman added that many retailers and restaurants in Hamilton have taken up the offer for wheelie bins, but the offer remains open for others.

She said: “Wheelie bins will be made mandatory in the near future so businesses are urged to plan ahead and apply.

“As an incentive, the city is offering the first wheelie bin for any business free of charge. Those businesses currently using wheelie bins are reminded that all of their refuse should go into the bins, trash bags should not be left on the sidewalks.”

To get a wheelie bin, businesses can e-mail dbean@cityhall.bm or call 292-1234, extension 203