The city of Cleveland has a new automated garbage collection system and a way to pick up bulk items from your home. But soon, if you don't follow the rules, you'll get hit with a hefty fine.
The city said it's done all it can and it wants to warn everyone of a looming deadline for dumping bulk items.
"I wasn't too happy about it,” said Margaret Chaney who lives on West 44th Street. She’s been there 50+ years and said she has never gotten a $350 ticket until now. "I can't afford to pay that ticket,” said Chaney. “I’m on a fixed income,” she added.
"It's not right. It's not fair," said Janet Sanchez who is Chaney’s daughter. Sanchez told us she goes through her mom's mail every week. Chaney's ticket came in November and when Sanchez called the city about it, she was told Chaney got a warning in October about bulk items. "We never received any warning letter about anything," Sanchez said.
She also explained the next day after that phone call is when her mom finally got her trash and recycling cans plus the information about what the rules and procedures are for bulk pick-up. "Well, that does us no good. We can't follow the rules if we don't know what the rules are," Sanchez told us.
The city said when it changed its procedures for pick-up that there was a 6-month grace period for tickets where people would get warnings first. “Once we give you a warning, we also give you an additional packet of information," said City of Cleveland Chief Operating Officer Darnell Brown.
But not only that, Brown explained the city mailed pick-up info to every address and city council sent out info, too. "We gave literature to everyone first. That's the first thing we did when we changed the policy in May and June," said Brown.
In the past 6 months, there have been nearly 2,300 warnings given out. Then the city issued 99 actual tickets for second-time offenders. However, starting January 1, no more warnings will be issued -just tickets.
"We don't want to issue tickets. That's not our goal,” said Brown. “That's why we did outreach and public education. We'd rather have compliance."
Sanchez has requested a hearing for her mom's $350 ticket so she can argue her case.
Here’s additional info about bulk pick-up or trash collection in Cleveland.
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