City of Pittsfield, MA
Berkshire County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
Editor's Note: Ord. No. 391, § 1, adopted 1-29-1981, amended Ch. 8, Garbage, rubbish and wastes, in its entirety, to read as herein set out, with minor, nonsubstantive additions and deletions made for purposes of clarity. The substantive provisions of former Ch. 8, §§ 8-1—8-15, were derived from R.O. 1947, ch. 42, §§ 1—3, 5; R.O. 1947, ch. 24, §§ 10, 11 and from: Ord. No. 626, § 6; Ord. No. 63, §§ 1—4, 9-10-1968; Ord. No. 182, §§ 1, 2; Ord. No. 171; Ord. No. 183, § 1; Ord. No. 148, § 1, 4-28-1971; Ord. No. 196, § 1, 9-13-1973.
GENERAL REFERENCES
Penalty for violation of § 8-11 — See § 10-16.
Junk dealers and waste collectors — See Ch. 10.
Depositing refuse, ashes, etc., in rivers, etc. — See § 14-2.
Public Utilities Advisory Committee — See Ch. 18 1/2.
Streets and sidewalks — See Ch. 20.
STATE LAW REFERENCES
Disposal of garbage, etc., on highways and private property — See MGL c. 270, §§ 16, 17.

Sec. 8-1 Definitions.

[Ord. No. 391, § 1, 1-29-1981; Ord. No. 652, 1-11-1990]
For the purposes of this chapter, the following words and phrases shall have the meanings respectively ascribed to them by this section:
DESIGNATED LICENSEE
Any person, firm or concern permitted by the city to deliver, on its behalf, waste to the resource recovery facility duly licensed under chapter 10 of the Code of the City of Pittsfield.
GARBAGE
All waste, fish, fowl, fruit, vegetable, or animal matter, exclusive of animal carcasses.
LANDFILL
A disposal facility for final disposition of residue or solid waste on land in compliance with all federal, state and local regulations.
RECYCLABLE MATERIALS
Discarded nonhazardous solid waste materials of domestic origin, including, but not limited to, paper products not associated with food or sanitary waste, such as newspapers, magazines, corrugated cardboard, mixed paper and high-grade paper; unbroken, empty, glass bottles and containers; and clean, empty aluminum, tinned, steel or bimetal beverage or food cans and containers.
RESIDUE
Ash, fly ash and other unburnable portions of the incinerated refuse, including minor quantities of combustible and putrescible matter.
RESOURCE RECOVERY FACILITY
Vicon Recovery Associates Facility at which solid waste is processed for the purpose of extracting resources and converting to energy.
SOLID WASTE
Discarded material consisting of rubbish, and garbage of domestic, commercial or industrial origin. Solid or semisolid in form, shall include wood, paper, fabric, food wastes, yard wastes, plastics, metals, glass, earthenware and other unwanted materials. Excluded shall be waste material generated by the razing of buildings and other structures (including roads and fences), waste requiring special handling or procedures (such as radioactive, pathological and explosive wastes, and recyclable materials.
VEHICLES, PRIVATE
Passenger cars and trucks having a gross weight not in excess of 10,000 pounds and not used for business purposes.

Sec. 8-2 Jurisdiction.

[Ord. No. 391, § 1, 1-29-1981; Ord. No. 518, § 3, 8-19-1985; Ord. No. 1149, § I, 9-29-2015]
Subject to the powers and duties of the Director of Public Health as provided by statute, the collection and disposal of materials described or referred to in section 8-1 shall be under the jurisdiction and charge of the commissioner of public utilities.

Sec. 8-2.1 Resource recovery committee.

[Ord. No. 693, § 1, 3-25-1992]
(a) 
Established. A resource recovery committee is established to advise the mayor, city council and commissioner of public utilities on all matters such as, but not limited to, solid waste collection, resource recovery, and recycling in the city, in promulgating rules, regulations and rates in conformity with law.
(b) 
The Resource Recovery Committee shall consist of seven members, one of whom shall be the Director of Public Health. In accordance with Article 2, Section 2-10, Article 3, Section 3-3 and Article 6 of Chapter 72 of the Acts of 2013, the Mayor shall appoint all of the members to the Resource Recovery Committee subject to City Council approval. Each member shall serve without compensation. In accordance with Article 10, Section 10-6(a) of Chapter 72 of the Acts of 2013, the members of the Resource Recovery Committee shall elect from the membership a chairperson, vice chairperson, a secretary and any other officers that the membership deems necessary.
[Ord. No. 1127, § I, 3-10-2015]
(c) 
Excepting the Director of Public Health, who shall serve as long as he/she serves as a city official, the remaining members shall serve a term of five years. In the event of a vacancy, the Mayor shall appoint a successor as soon as practicable, subject to city council approval, and said successor shall fulfill the unexpired term of the member whose seat was vacated. Members may be removed by the Mayor for cause, subject to the approval of a majority of the members of the City Council.
[Ord. No. 1127, § I, 3-10-2015]
(d) 
Meetings. The Resource Recovery Committee shall meet regularly once a month. Special meetings may be called by the Commissioner, the Chairperson or by any four members.

Sec. 8-2.2 Ban on use of styrofoam.

[Ord. No. 1162, § I, 10-13-2015]
(a) 
Purpose: This section is enacted pursuant to the general police power in order to protect the health, safety and welfare of the inhabitants of the City of Pittsfield.
(b) 
Findings: The elimination of expanded polystyrene food containers is in the best interests of the health and welfare of City inhabitants because, in 2011, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, through its National Toxicology Program, has determined that styrene is reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen, which can leach into food and beverages via polystyrene containers.
(c) 
Definitions:
BIODEGRADABLE FOOD SERVICE CONTAINER
Within three years having the ability to one-hundred-percent completely break down, or within three years decompose back into the natural environment without causing harm.
DISPOSABLE FOOD SERVICE CONTAINER
Single-use disposable products for serving or transporting prepared, ready-to-consume food or beverages. This includes but is not limited to plates, cups, bowls, trays and hinged or lidded containers. This definition does not include single-use disposable utensils, nor does it include single-use disposable packaging for unprepared foods. The Board of Health shall have final say as to what is or is not a disposable food service container.
EXPANDED POLYSTYRENE (EPS)
Polystyrene that has been expanded or "blown" using a gaseous blowing agent into a solid foam.
FOOD ESTABLISHMENT
An operation that stores, prepares, packages, serves, vends, or otherwise provides food for human consumption, as further defined in 105 CMR 590.002. Any establishment requiring a permit to operate in accordance with the State Food Code, 105 CMR 590.000 et seq., shall be considered a food establishment for purposes of this section. The Board of Health shall determine what is or is not a food establishment.
POLYSTYRENE
Expanded polystyrene which is a thermoplastic petrochemical material utilizing a styrene monomer and processed by any number of techniques, including, but not limited to, fusion of polymer spheres (expandable bead polystyrene), injection molding, form molding, and extrusion-blow molding (extruded foam polystyrene).
PREPARED FOOD
Any food or beverage prepared for consumption on the food establishment's premises, using any cooking or food preparation technique. This does not include any raw uncooked meat, fish or eggs unless provided for consumption without further food preparation.
RECYCLABLE FOOD SERVICE CONTAINER
A food service container completely capable of reuse as a food service container 10 or more times, or completely capable of being used as a high quality recyclate, wherein the materials of the food service container may be completely reclaimed and used in new food service containers at least 10 times.
(d) 
Prohibition:
i. 
A food establishment is prohibited from dispensing prepared food to customers in disposable food services containers that are made in whole or part from expanded polystyrene. This would eliminate any requirement that the product also be biodegradable and recyclable.
(e) 
Deferments:
i. 
Upon written application, the Board of Health, after a public hearing, may defer application of this section for a food establishment for a one-year period, upon a showing by the food establishment that the conditions of this section would cause undue hardship. For purposes of this section, an "undue hardship" is a situation unique to the food establishment where there are no reasonable alternatives to the use of expanded polystyrene disposable food service containers and compliance with this provision would cause significant economic hardship to that food establishment.
ii. 
A food establishment granted a deferment by the City must reapply prior to the end of the one-year exemption period and demonstrate continued undue hardship, if it wishes to have the deferment extended. Deferments may only be granted for intervals not to exceed one year.
iii. 
A deferment granted in accordance with this section may be extended for no more than one additional one-year period, upon written application to the Board of Health at least two months prior to the expiration of the first deferment period and upon a showing that the circumstances justifying the deferment continue to exist.
iv. 
A deferment application shall include all information necessary for the City to make its decision, including, but not limited to, documentation showing the factual support for the claimed deferment. The Board of Health may require the applicant to provide additional information to permit it to determine facts regarding the deferment application.
v. 
The Board of Health may approve the deferment application, in whole or in part, with or without conditions that it deems necessary to protect the public health and further the interests of this section.
vi. 
Deferment decisions are effective immediately and final.
(f) 
Enforcement:
i. 
An agent of the Board of Health shall inquire on an annual basis regarding any food establishment's compliance with this section as a condition for renewal of the establishment's food service permit.
ii. 
The Board of Health, after a hearing conducted in accordance with the procedures set forth in 105 CMR 590.14 and 105 CMR 590.15, may suspend or revoke the food service permit for any establishment failing to comply with this section.
iii. 
An agent of the Board of Health shall have primary responsibility for enforcement of this provision and shall have authority to issue citations for violation(s). The Health Department or its designee is authorized to establish regulations or administrative procedures and to take any and all actions reasonable and necessary to further the purposes of this chapter or to obtain compliance with this chapter, including, but not limited to, inspecting any vendor's premises to verify compliance in accordance with applicable law.
iv. 
An agent of the Board of Health may enforce this bylaw or enjoin violations thereof through any lawful process, and the election of one remedy by the Board of Health shall not preclude enforcement through any other lawful means.
v. 
Any member of the public who observes a potential violation of this section shall be able to file a complaint with the Board of Health who shall investigate whether there is a violation of this section.
vi. 
Penalties and fines for violations of this section may be enforced as follows: This section shall be enforced by the Board of Health or its designee. Whoever violates any provision of this section may be penalized by a noncriminal disposition process as provided in MGL c.40, § 21D and the City's noncriminal disposition ordinance. If noncriminal disposition is elected, then any person who violates any provision of this section shall be subject to the following penalties:
a) 
First offense: a written warning to the food establishment which will specify the violation.
b) 
Second offense: a fine of $25.
c) 
Third offense: a fine of $50.
d) 
Fines are cumulative and each day or portion thereof shall constitute a separate offense. If more than one, each condition violated shall constitute a separate offense.
e) 
Whoever violates any provision of this section may be penalized by virtue of a civil complaint brought in the district court.

Sec. 8-3 Dumping hours.

[Ord. No. 391, § 1, 1-29-1981; Ord. No. 475, § 1, 4-27-1984; Ord. No. 518, § 3, 8-19-1985]
Dumping hours for solid waste at the resource recovery facility, or other site designated by Vicon Recovery Associates, or the City, shall be determined and established by the Commissioner of Public Utilities pursuant to his rule-making authority under section 8-4 of this Code.

Sec. 8-4 Rules and regulations governing handling, storage, etc., generally.

[Ord. No. 391, § 1, 1-29-1981; Ord. No. 518, § 3, 8-19-1985; Ord. No. 1149, § II, 9-29-2015]
(a) 
Subject, so far as applicable, or in case of connict, to the power of the Director of Public Health to make rules and regulations under Sections 31A and 31B of Chapter 111 of the General Laws and to the rules and regulations, made by such Commissioner thereunder, this chapter, Chapter 10 of this Code and the rules and regulations promulgated hereunder, shall regulate the collection and disposal of solid waste in the City of Pittsfield.
(b) 
The Commissioner of Public Utilities shall make additional rules and regulations as necessary relating to the collection and proper disposal of solid waste which are not inconsistent with this chapter or the laws of the commonwealth.
(c) 
Such rules and regulations shall take effect upon approval by the Mayor and City Council and filing in the office of the City clerk. All such rules and regulations shall be published once in a newspaper published in the City prior to their effective date and such publication shall serve as notice to all persons.

Sec. 8-5 Collection generally.

[Ord. No. 856, §§ I, II, 5-25-1999; Ord. No. 884, § 1, 1-9-2001; Ord. No. 987, § 1, 10-10-2006]
(a) 
Except as set forth below, the City or its agent collector shall collect all solid waste and specified recyclables once each week on assigned days.
(b) 
The City’s collection of solid waste shall be limited to residential structures containing four or fewer living units. A solid waste service charge shall be levied against the owners of four-family properties, but owner-occupied four-family properties shall be exempt from this charge. The solid waste service charge shall be adopted by the City Council.
(c) 
The City shall collect recyclables from any location, providing such recyclables are prepared and placed at the curb for collection in a container and in a manner acceptable for pickup by the City or its agent collector.
(d) 
Residents of every household, including multiresidential structures, shall separate waste materials into three categories before depositing such wastes for collection and disposal. Waste materials shall be separated as either mixed recyclable glass, metal, plastic and waxed containers; mixed recyclable papers and corrugated cardboard; and other solid wastes. Wastes and recyclables so separated shall be properly contained in a manner and to an extent as to not create any health or other hazard and shall be placed for collection so as to be clearly identifiable to the collector.
(e) 
No yard or agricultural waste consisting of leaves, grass or hedge clippings, tree branches, brush or other similar materials shall be mixed in with other solid waste in any container or bundled and placed at the curb at the same time as other solid waste for collection by the City or its agent collector.
(f) 
No bulky wastes or white goods consisting of items of unusually large size, including, but not limited to, air conditioners, heating units, stoves, washing machines, dryers, refrigerators, mattresses, bedsprings, couches, tables, large auto parts, stumps, etc., shall be collected by the City or its agent collector on any regular collection day.
(g) 
The City shall not collect for disposal any hazardous waste, explosive waste, demolition waste, infectious waste, waste prohibited from disposal by incineration or landfill by any federal or state law or regulation, or any other special waste, which, by itself or in combination with other wastes, exists in any chemical or physical state such that particular management controls and nonstandard municipal refuse collection equipment and practices are required to prevent an adverse impact from its collection, transportation, transfer, storage, processing, treatment or disposal.
(h) 
Recyclable materials properly separated and deposited for collection shall become the property of the City or its agent collector for collection and disposal to the exclusion of any other person, party or agent.

Sec. 8-6 Drainage and storage of materials.

[Ord. No. 391, § 1, 1-29-1981; Ord. No. 393, § 1, 2-27-1981]
Garbage is to be well drained of free water and wrapped in paper or other combustible material and stored in a watertight, tightly covered container. All loose materials which normally fit into containers but which are excess as a result of special circumstances such as holidays shall be bundled and tied securely to prevent them from blowing or scattering and shall be placed beside the containers. All items too large to fit into containers, such as, but not limited to, appliances, furniture and mattresses, shall be disposed of promptly by the owner or user. Containers shall be kept covered at all times. Waste material shall be stored in no more than two points on the premises.

Sec. 8-7 Requirement of containers.

[Ord. No. 391, § 1, 1-29-1981]
All solid waste to be collected by the City shall be placed in a suitable container, with handles, not to exceed 32 gallons in capacity.

Sec. 8-8 Location, maintenance, etc., of containers.

[Ord. No. 391, § 1, 1-29-1981; Ord. No. 393, § 2, 2-27-1981]
Containers for waste shall be available for collection at the curbside, no more than five feet from edge of road, and in such places as not to constitute a nuisance. Waste collection crews shall not be required to collect containers for waste which are stored or placed in a garage, cellar hatchway, enclosed porches or any portion of a house or building. Vicious animals shall be tied. Following collection, containers shall be promptly removed from curbside. Any container which does not conform to prescribed standards or which has defects likely to hamper collection or injure the person collecting the contents thereof or the public generally shall be replaced promptly by the owner or user of the container.

Sec. 8-9 Collection of animal wastes.

[Ord. No. 391, § 1, 1-29-1981]
(a) 
Private collectors of bones, fat, hides and tallow from markets and slaughterhouses shall be licensed hereunder. Such bones, fat, hides and tallow shall be carried through the streets only in covered watertight containers which shall be clean inside and out. These containers shall have tight-fitting covers.
(b) 
Such private collectors shall, before engaging in such business, be licensed by the Director of Public Health and shall conduct their work so as to ensure the safe and sanitary transportation of such materials through the city. Before a license required by this section is issued by the Director of Public Health, applicants shall be required to pay to the city a fee of $2 per year. Such license may be revoked by the Director of Public Health at any time if he finds that the manner of collection, transportation, storage or disposal is not in conformity with the provisions of the license.
[Ord. No. 1149, §§ III––V, 9-29-2015]
(c) 
The total number of such private collectors shall be limited by the Director of Public Health to such number as may be in the best interests of the city.
[Ord. No. 1149, § VI, 9-29-2015]
(d) 
These wastes are not considered acceptable waste for disposal at the resource recovery facility.

Sec. 8-10 Disposal generally.

[Ord. No. 391, § 1, 1-29-1981]
(a) 
All disposal of solid waste, unless legally disposed of at the site of origin, shall be at the resource recovery facility, or such other place mutually agreed upon by Vicon Recovery Associates and the city as set forth in the solid waste disposal and resource recovery agreement.
(b) 
Nothing in this chapter shall prohibit the legal disposal of waste in a home, commercial or industrial establishment without the necessity of storage or collections provided such disposal meets all applicable local, state and federal regulations.
(c) 
Private collectors of solid waste for disposal at the resource recovery facility shall be licensed as provided for in Chapter 10 of this Code.

Sec. 8-11 Waste materials, etc., carried in vehicles to be covered, etc.

[Ord. No. 391, § 1, 1-29-1981; Ord. No. 652, 1-11-1990]
No person owning or operating a vehicle traveling on a public way shall, by himself, his agents or servants, carry in it or cause or allow it to contain waste materials, sand, gravel, ashes, rubbish, junk, paper, paper, boxes, covers, bottles, tins or like materials, unless such materials are covered, fastened, or contained in such fashion that they may not fall from or be blown off or scattered from such vehicle. The fact that such materials do fall from or are blown off or scattered from vehicles traveling on public ways shall create a presumption that they were not properly covered, contained, or fastened as provided by this section. Violators of this section shall be subject to the cost of removal of said debris in addition to any penalties as set forth in this chapter and under Chapter 10 of this Code.

Sec. 8-12 Depositing waste materials, etc., in public ways, etc.

[Ord. No. 391, § 1, 1-29-1981; Ord. No. 393, § 3, 2-27-1981; Ord. No. 652, 1-11-1990]
No person, by himself, his agents or servant, shall place or deposit or cause to be placed or deposited in or on any public way or place except at the designated disposal site, or in or on any place, public or private, where the same may be reasonably expected to be blown or scattered by the wind or other natural forces, any rubbish, paper, paper boxes, covers, bottles, tins or like materials. Violators of this section shall be subject to the cost of removal of said debris in addition to any penalties as set forth in this chapter and under Chapter 10 of this Code.

Sec. 8-13 Vehicle stickers; disposal fees.

[Ord. No. 391, § 1, 1-29-1981; Ord. No. 383, § 4, 2-27-1981; Ord. No. 560, § 1, 12-1-1986; Ord. No. 611, § 1, 7-13-1988; Ord. No. 883, §§ I, II, 1-9-2001]
(a) 
All persons disposing of waste at the resource recovery facility must obtain a vehicle sticker from the city clerk, or his designee. Private vehicles registered to city residents that are not used for commercial purposes may obtain a vehicle sticker upon presentation of vehicle registration to the city clerk, or his designee. Commercial and industrial vehicles must carry vehicle stickers assigned as set forth in Chapter 10 of this Code.
(b) 
Private vehicles bearing stickers may dispose of waste at the facility at rates to be established from time to time by the commissioner of public utilities and adopted by the city council.
(c) 
Commercial vehicles bearing stickers shall weigh in on scales provided by Vicon Recovery Associates and a per ton disposal fee shall be assessed and collected by Vicon Recovery Associates. The disposal fee shall be established from time to time by the commissioner of public utilities, subject to the approval of the city council.

Sec. 8-14 Severability.

[Ord. No. 391, § 1, 1-29-1981]
In case any one or more of the provisions contained in this chapter shall, for any reason, be held to be invalid, illegal, or unenforceable in any respect, such invalidity, illegality, or unenforceability shall not affect any other provision of this chapter, but this chapter shall be construed as if such invalid, illegal, or unenforceable provision had never been contained herein.

Sec. 8-15 Maintenance of dumpsters by businesses.

[Ord. No. 652, 1-11-1990; Ord. No. 674, § 4, 5-29-1991; Ord. No. 803, § I, 6-26-1996]
This section shall apply to all businesses in the city with dumpsters.
(1) 
It shall be unlawful to place or permit to remain anywhere in the city any garbage or other material subject to decay other than leaves or grass, excepting in a tightly covered metal container.
(2) 
It shall be unlawful to cause or to permit to accumulate any dust, ashes, garbage, or trash that can be blown away by the wind or accessible to persons who may strew its contents, excepting in a tightly covered metal container.
(3) 
Any businesses initially found violating the provisions of this section shall be ordered by the director of municipal inspections to make its dumpster secure by placing a padlock on the dumpster to prevent the strewing or blowing away of its contents.
Any business that fails to comply with such an order by the director of municipal inspections under this section shall be subject to the provisions of Chapter 4 1/2.