CLEVELAND — Some Cleveland residents are upset with the growing number of city violations issued to homeowners who improperly put out their garbage and recycling.
According to city records obtained by News 5, the City of Cleveland handed out more than 4,400 tickets over a 10 month period from Aug. 2018 to May 2019, to homeowners who did not follow the city trash and recycling guidelines.
The $100 violations grow to $160 if the initial ticket isn't paid within 30 days.
City records indicate a ten block area of W. 47 and W. 48 streets were hit with 35 violations in less than a year.
Residents like Eva Velazquez told News 5 homeowners need to be given additional warnings, and more homeowner education on trash policies, before the heavy fines are issued.
“Well it was disappointing because we were trying to do our cleaning, we were trying to get better,” Velazquez said.
“No, we never got any warnings or explanation beforehand, it was confusing for us.”
“Trash issues are important, but there are a lot of issues that have to be taken care of and the city is not taking care if those things you know.”
Velazquez also said the initial fines are simply too high for lower income homeowners.
Cleveland Councilman Tony Brancatelli agreed even more homeowner education on recycling and proper trash disposal are needed.
However, Brancatelli added the violations are important in helping to curb a growing amount of illegal dumping.
“We need to continue to reach out to residents and continue to communicate, not only in our news letters, but more direct mailers,” Brancatelli said.
“We have to fix that bad behavior. The dumping and environmental hazards that we’ve seen, we have to stop that."
Brancatelli said homeowners who believe they've been issued an unfair trash ticket can appeal the violation to theBoard of Building Standards and Appeals.
The fee to file an appeal is just $15.