City of North Adams, MA
Berkshire County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents

Sec. 15-1 Definitions.

[Ord. of 6-14-1988]
For the purpose of this chapter, the following terms, phrases, words and their derivations shall have the meaning given herein. When not inconsistent with the context, words used in the present tense include the future, words used in the plural number include the singular number, and words used in the singular number include the plural number. The word "shall" is always mandatory and not merely directory.
(1) 
Authorized private receptacle is a litter storage and collection receptacle.
(2) 
City is the City of North Adams.
(3) 
Handbill is any printed or written matter, any sample or device, dodger, circular, leaflet, pamphlet, paper booklet, or any other printed or otherwise reproduced original or copies of any matter of literature.
(4) 
Garbage is putrescible animal and vegetable wastes resulting from the handling, preparation, cooking, and consumption of food.
(5) 
Litter is garbage, refuse, and rubbish as defined herein and all other waste material which, if thrown or deposited as herein prohibited, tends to create a danger to public health, safety and welfare.
(6) 
Newspaper is any newspaper of general circulation as defined by general law, any newspaper duly entered with the Post Office Department of the United States, in accordance with federal statute or regulation, and any newspaper filed and recorded with any recording officer as provided by general law; and, in addition thereto, shall mean and include any periodical or current magazine regularly published with not less than four issues per year, and sold to the public.
(7) 
Park is a park, reservation, playground, beach, recreation center or any other public area in the city, owned or used by the city and devoted to active or passive recreation.
(8) 
Person is any person, firm, partnership, association, corporation, company or organization of any kind.
(9) 
Private premises is any dwelling, house, building, or other structure, designed or used either wholly or in part for private residential purposes, whether inhabited or temporarily or continuously uninhabited or vacant, and shall include any yard, ground, walk, driveway, porch, steps, vestibule, or mailbox belonging or appurtenant to such dwelling, house, building, or other structure.
(10) 
Public place is any and all streets, sidewalks, boulevards, alleys or other public ways and any and all public parks, squares, spaces, ground and buildings.
(11) 
Refuse is all putrescible and nonputrescible solid wastes (except body waste), including garbage, rubbish, ashes, sand, street cleanings, dead animals, abandoned automobiles, and solid market and industrial wastes.
(12) 
Rubbish is nonputrescible solid wastes consisting of both combustible and noncombustible wastes, such as paper, wrappings, cigarettes, cardboard, tin cans, yard clippings, leaves, wood, metal, glass, bedding, crockery, dead trees, and weeds, vines, briars or vegetation, and similar materials.
(13) 
Vehicle is every device in, upon or by which any person or property is or may be transported or drawn upon a highway, including devices used exclusively upon stationary rails or tracks.

Sec. 15-2 Litter in public places.

[Ord. of 6-14-1988]
No person shall throw or deposit litter in or upon any streets, sidewalk or other public place within the city except in public receptacles, in authorized private receptacles for collection, or in official city dumps.

Sec. 15-3 Litter on occupied private property.

[Ord. of 6-14-1988]
No person shall throw or deposit litter on any occupied private property within the city, whether owned by such person or not, except that the owner or person in control of such private property may maintain authorized receptacles for collection.

Sec. 15-4 Litter on vacant lots.

[Ord. of 6-14-1988]
No person shall throw or deposit litter on any open or vacant private property within the city whether owned by such person or not.

Sec. 15-5 Litter in parks.

[Ord. of 6-14-1988]
No person shall throw or deposit litter in any park within the city except in public receptacles. Where public receptacles are not provided, all such litter shall be carried away from the park by the person responsible for its presence and properly disposed of elsewhere as provided herein.

Sec. 15-6 Litter in lakes and fountains.

[Ord. of 6-14-1988]
No person shall throw or deposit litter in any fountain, pond, lake, stream, river, wetlands, or any other body of water in a park or elsewhere within the city.

Sec. 15-7 Sweeping litter into gutters.

[Ord. of 6-14-1988]
No person, including the owner or occupant of a place of business, shall sweep into or deposit in any gutter, street, or other public place within the city, the accumulation of litter from any building or lot, or from any public or private sidewalk or driveway or property.

Sec. 15-7.1 Throwing snow and ice into streets.

[Ord. of 6-14-1988]
No person, including the owner or occupant of a place of business, shall throw or put, or cause to be put or thrown, any snow or ice into any street.

Sec. 15-7.2 Washing vehicles in streets.

[Ord. of 6-14-1988]
No person shall wash or clean or cause to be washed or cleaned any vehicle in any street.

Sec. 15-8 Litter thrown by persons in vehicles.

[Ord. of 6-14-1988]
No person, while a driver or passenger in a vehicle, shall throw or deposit litter upon any street or other public place within the city, or upon private property.

Sec. 15-9 Truck loads causing litter.

[Ord. of 6-14-1988]
No person shall drive or move any truck or other vehicle within the city unless such vehicle is so constructed or loaded as to prevent any load, contents or litter from being blown or deposited upon any street, alley, or other public place or private premises. Nor shall any person drive or move any vehicle or truck within the city, the wheels or tires of which carry into or deposit in any street, alley or other public place, mud, dirt, sticky substances, litter or foreign matter of any kind to and from any construction site.

Sec. 15-10 Throwing or distributing handbills in public places.

[Ord. of 6-14-1988]
No person shall throw or deposit any handbill in or upon any sidewalk, street or other public place within the city. Nor shall any person hand out or distribute or sell any handbill in any public place. Provided, however, that it shall not be unlawful on any sidewalk, street or other public place within the city for any person to hand out or distribute, without charge to the receiver thereof, any handbill to any person willing to accept it.

Sec. 15-11 Placing handbills on vehicles.

[Ord. of 6-14-1988]
No person shall throw, deposit, or place any handbill in or upon any vehicle. Provided, however, that it shall not be unlawful in any public place for a person to hand out or distribute without charge to the receiver thereof, a handbill to any occupant of a vehicle who is willing to accept it.

Sec. 15-12 Depositing handbills on uninhabited or vacant premises.

[Ord. of 6-14-1988]
No person shall throw or deposit any handbill in or upon any private premises which are temporarily or continuously uninhabited or vacant.

Sec. 15-13 Posting notices prohibited.

[Ord. of 6-14-1988]
No person shall post or affix any notice, poster or other paper or device, calculated to attract the attention of the public, to any, lamp post, public utility pole or shade tree, or upon any public structure or building, except as may be authorized or required by law.

Sec. 15-14 Dead animals, etc.; throwing into streams, etc.

[Ord. of 6-14-1988]
No person shall throw the carcass of any dead animal or other substance which is likely to putrefy into any pond, stream, wetlands, or other body of water, or leave such carcass or substance on the surface of the ground or insufficiently buried.

Sec. 15-15 Spitting in public places.

[Ord. of 6-14-1988]
No person shall spit upon the floor of any room, hall or entrance in any public building of the city, or upon any public street or sidewalk.

Sec. 15-16 Placement of litter in receptacles so as to prevent scattering.

[Ord. of 6-14-1988]
Persons placing litter in public receptacles or in authorized private receptacles shall do so in such a manner as to prevent it from being carried or deposited by the elements upon any street, sidewalk, park or other public place within the city, or upon private property whether owned by such person or not.

Sec. 15-17 Keeping sidewalks free of litter.

[Ord. of 6-14-1988]
Persons owning or occupying property, including places of business, within the city shall keep the sidewalks in front of and abutting their premises free of litter.

Sec. 15-18 Owner to maintain premises free of litter.

[Ord. of 6-14-1988]
The owner or person in control of any private property shall at all times maintain the premises free of litter. Provided, however, that this section shall not prohibit the storage of litter in authorized private receptacles for collection.

Sec. 15-19 Eaves and gutters discharging into streets and sidewalks.

[Ord. of 6-14-1988]
No person shall permit water from the eaves and/or leader pipes of any building owned or cared for by said person to be discharged upon any street or sidewalk.

Sec. 15-20 Draining sink, etc., water into streets and sidewalks.

[Ord. of 6-14-1988]
No person shall allow any sink water or other impure water to run habitually from any house, barn, garage, or other structure occupied or under the control of said person, onto the surface of any street or sidewalk.

Sec. 15-21 Distribution of handbills and newspapers on inhabited private property.

[Ord. of 6-14-1988]
Persons placing or distributing handbills and/or newspapers in or upon private premises which are inhabited shall do so in such a manner as to prevent such from being scattered, carried or deposited by the elements upon any street, sidewalk, or other public place or upon private property.

Sec. 15-22 Burning of litter on private property.

[Ord. of 6-14-1988]
No person shall burn litter on private property, whether in the open or in an outdoor incinerator or fireplace. Except, however, that the following is allowed upon receipt of a permit from the fire division of the city.
(a) 
Brush, cane, driftwood, and forestry debris, but not grass, grass clippings, hay, leaves, and stumps, from other than commercial or industrial land clearing operations between January 15-May 1.
(b) 
Materials normally associated with the pursuit of agriculture, such as fruit tree prunings, dead raspberry stalks, blueberry patches for pruning purposes, and infected beehives for disease control.
(c) 
Trees and brush resulting from agricultural land clearing.
(d) 
Fungus-infected elmwood, if no other acceptable means of disposal is available.
(e) 
Christmas trees from December 26 to January 7 of each year.

Sec. 15-23 Clearing of litter from private property by the city.

[Ord. of 6-14-1988]
(a) 
Notice to remove. The health inspector is hereby authorized and empowered to notify the owner of any private property within the city, or agent of such owner, to properly dispose of litter located on such owner's property which is dangerous to public health, safety or welfare. Such notice shall be by registered or certified mail, addressed to such owner at his/her last known address.
(b) 
Action upon noncompliance. Upon the failure, neglect or refusal of any owner, or agent so notified, to properly dispose of litter dangerous to public health, safety or welfare within seven days after receipt of written notice provided for in subsection (a) above, or within 10 days after the date of such notice in the event the same is returned to the city post office department because of its inability to make delivery thereof, provided the same was properly addressed to the last known address of such owner or agent, the health inspector is hereby authorized and empowered to pay for the disposing of such litter or to order its disposal by the city and inform the city solicitor thereof, who shall, in addition to penalties as prescribed in section 15-24, institute appropriate proceedings to collect such expense incurred from the owner.
(c) 
Charge included in tax bill. When the city has effected the removal of such dangerous litter or has paid for its removal, the actual cost thereof, plus accrued interest at the rate of 10% per annum from the date of the completion of the work, and penalties incurred prior to completion of said work, if not paid by such owner prior thereto, shall be charged to the owner of such property on the next regular tax bill forwarded to such owner by the city and said charge shall be due and payable by said owner at the time of payment of such bill. Such claim for the expense by the city shall constitute a debt due the city upon completion of the work and the rendering of an account thereof to the owner, and is recoverable from the owner in an action of contract, together with interest thereon at the rate of 10% per annum from the date said debt becomes due and payable.
(d) 
Recorded statement constitutes lien. Where the full amount due the city is not paid by such owner within 30 days after the disposal of such litter, as provided for in this ordinance, then the board of health or city may cause to be recorded, in the Northern Berkshire Registry of Deeds, a sworn statement showing the cost and expense incurred for the work, the date the work was done and the location of the property on which said work was done. The recording of such sworn statement shall constitute a lien on the property, and shall remain in full force and effect for the amount due in principal and interest, plus cost of court, if any, for collection. Said costs and expenses shall be collected in the manner fixed by law for the collection of taxes. Such lien may be dissolved by filing with said registry of deeds a certificate from the collector of taxes, that the debt for which the lien attached, together with interests and costs thereon, has been paid or abated. Such collector shall have the same powers and be subject to the same duties with respect to such claim as in the case of the annual taxes upon real estate; and the provisions of law relative to the collection of such annual taxes, the sale or taking of land for nonpayment thereof, and the redemption of land so sold or taken shall apply to such claim.

Sec. 15-24 Penalties.

[Ord. of 10-27-1998]
Violation of any of the provisions of Sections 15-2 through 15-15 and 15-22 of this chapter shall be governed by the provisions of Chapter 29.

Sec. 15-25 Enforcement.

[Ord. of 6-14-1988]
The provisions of this chapter shall be enforced by the Health Inspector and the Commissioner of Public Safety or his designees.

Sec. 15-26 Severability.

[Ord. of 6-14-1988; Ord. of 8-14-2007]
If any section, subsection, sentence, clause, phrase or portion of this chapter is held invalid or unconstitutional by any court of competent jurisdiction, such portion shall be deemed a separate, distinct and independent provision, and such holding shall not affect the validity of the remaining portions hereof.