Gary residents now required to use city’s garbage pick-up
By Michelle L. Quinn Post-Tribune correspondent February 19, 2013 9:46PM
Updated: February 20, 2013 10:29AM
GARY — Residents are no longer able to opt out of garbage pick up in the city.
Th Common Council at its Tuesday night meeting voted 8-0, with Councilwoman Carolyn Rogers, D-4, absent, to amend its solid waste and recycling fee ordinance. The language was changed to reflect a two-month at a time billing cycle as well as a clause stipulating that residents may not opt out of service.
Gary Santitary Director Dan Vicari said at last week’s Finance Meeting that people have tried to say they didn’t need to pay for garbage service because they lived near apartment complexes and would just dump their garbage in those dumpsters. That practice is illegal, Vicari said.
If a homeowner is facing an extenuating circumstance that prevents him or her from living at their residence, he or she can call the GSD’s customer service department at 883-1027 to work out an arrangement, Councilwoman Mary Brown, D-3, said. Brown is GSD’s customer service manager.
The monthly waste disposal fee of $14.90 didn’t change.
Council President Kyle Allen said when the city initially privatized its service, people didn’t want to pay yet still expected their garbage to be picked up.
“If you don’t adapt, you die,” Allen said.
Council Vice President Ron Brewer, D-At-Large, added that he supports the fee for additional bags of trash because residents who’re cleaning out a house or garage have been known to leave piles of garbage out with the expectation that it was just going to be hauled away instead of renting their own dumpster.
“We have to hold citizens accountable,” Brewer said.
Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson updated the council on city-related bills in the General Assembly. She said House Bill 1585 received an amendment in the Fiscal Policy Committee that would allow counties who’ve adopted the 1 percent local option income tax to, instead of using it toward public safety and economic development, use .25 percent toward mass transit and the other .75 percent and the other .75 percent toward the counties’ general needs.
She also said the makeup of the Gary/Chicago International Airport Authority has not changed, though there was discussion of making its Governor appointee Ross Amundson president for five years. That proposition was scratched, Freeman-Wilson said.
In other business, the mayor said the city has filled nearly 5,000 potholes; 104.75 tons of trash has been cleaned up from dumpsites around the city;31 buildings have been demolished, 25 of those in the University Park area; and General Services now has a snowplow truck. She said the administration will now issue a report on city cleanup efforts the 15th of each month.