The City of Guntersville Public Works Department collects three types of residential solid waste: garbage, yard waste/rubbish, and recyclables. In an effort to minimize litter, waste contamination, and foul odors, the City of Guntersville plans to enforce existing regulations more strictly requiring the use of garbage cans with tightly fitting lids. Currently, residents are allowed to have two garbage cans with a maximum capacity of 32 gallons per container emptied each week. Recycling is required by city ordinance and two 32 gallon cans should be sufficient for solid waste if residents are recycling correctly. Residents provide their own garbage receptacles which may be plastic or metal and all garbage cans must have sealed lids. The use of fitted lids lessens the chances of cans tipping during severe weather or attracting animals that may scatter harmful waste material.
The 32 gallon can maximum is meant to prevent injury to sanitation workers by insuring that the overall weigh of each can does not exceed fifty pounds. Oversized cans can be used until time to replace, but refuse must be bagged or loose must not weigh over limit. Likewise, open cans and untied bags of trash can fill with rain water that significantly increases container weight and are more likely to break and scatter unhealthy contents. Blue bags are to be used for recycling only and should contain clean/rinsed recyclables materials accepted by the City of Guntersville see https://guntersvilleal.org/departments/public-works/recycling/. Blue bags should also be tied to prevent scattering or rainwater collection.
Due to COVID-19, our sanitation workers can no longer risk putting themselves in danger to pick up unhygienic debris scattered as a result of cans with no lids, overflowing cans in which the lids can’t close, or wildlife mischief. Although not required, we recommend that residents bag their trash and tie each bag securely to prevent such problems. All syringes and hypodermic needles should be placed in hard plastic containers such as water or soda bottles. The caps must be sealed, and placed in garbage (NOT RECYCLING). Furthermore, occasionally rinsing cans out with a hose will prolong the life of the can and will reduce unpleasant odors that can attract animals.
Any violation of the Solid Waste Ordinance is a misdemeanor punishable with a maximum fine of $500 per for each violation. Current pandemic concerns have made it necessary to enforce solid waste regulations more strictly. The Sanitation Department plans to begin providing residents who fail to use garbage cans and lids with door hanger warnings also knows as whoops cards prior to the issuance of citations by law enforcement.