[HISTORY: Approved 10-17-1979, effective 11-17-1979; amended in its entirety 7-20-2011 by Ord. No. 07-11, effective 8-19-2011. Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
The purpose of this Article is to set forth appropriate standards and establish specific requirements to be adhered to by property owners and tenants in maintaining their dwellings and properties at a reasonable standard and that they be kept free from vermin and rodent infestation, that dwellings be kept in such repair as to be fit for human habitation, and to provide for the control of weeds on vacant lots and properties within the Town limits; in addition, to granting the Mayor and Town Council or their designee with authority to issue orders compelling compliance with the provisions hereof, and to correct such conditions at the expense of the property occupants or owners of properties upon which violations occur. The intent of this Article is to require that all dwellings, properties and vacant areas be kept clean and free from accumulated litter, refuse or other nuisances and that the collection of trash, garbage and recycling be done in an efficient, lawful and sanitary manner.
Every dwelling lot or vacant area within the Town Limits, and every part thereof, shall be kept clean, presentable and free from any accumulation of litter, discarded appliances, dismantled and inoperative vehicles, water craft, motor cycles, construction debris (e.g., scrap wood, plumbing accessories, dry wall, broken-up concrete, etc.), automobile parts and chemicals (e.g., engine blocks, fenders, bumpers, used and/or drained motor oil or transmission fluid, etc.), rubbish, discarded furniture, garbage and similar matter as not to be a danger to the health of any occupant thereof, or hazard to the adjoining property thereto, and shall be kept free from vermin and rodent infestation. It shall be the duty and responsibility of each occupant or owner of a dwelling unit, lot or vacant area to remove dead or dying trees or dying limbs, except those planted by the Town, by reason of rotting, deteriorating condition or storm damage which constitutes a hazard to persons or property in the vicinity. These conditions will not be allowed to exist or accumulate on any private property or property adjoining any streets, alleys or lanes in the Town.
All yards, lawns, lots and vacant areas immediately adjacent to improved property shall be kept covered with sufficient ground cover, such as grass, and in addition, it shall be kept clean and free from weeds and brush exceeding eight inches in height. It shall be the duty of each lessee, occupant or owner of a dwelling unit, lot, parcel or vacant area, to keep, in a clean and properly maintained condition the portion of the property which he or she occupies or over which he has exclusive control, and the unimproved portion of the public right-of-way immediately abutting said property. If the lessee, occupant or owner shall fail to keep his portion of the property clean or maintained as above provided, the Mayor and Town Council or its designee may send a written notice to such occupant or owner requesting him to remedy such condition within the time specified in said notice, said time not to be less than three days.
Upon failure of the owner of unimproved or vacant property to comply with such notice, the Town, through its officers and agents, shall have the power to enter upon the premises and cause such conditions to be abated pursuant to Section 33-20(b)(49) of the Town Charter. The cost incurred by the Town may be recovered in the manner prescribed in said Charter Section 33-20(b).
Public property. It shall be unlawful for any person to keep exposed or to deposit, throw or place, cause to be deposited, thrown or placed, or to allow to accumulate any garbage or trash in any avenue, street, alley or public place within the corporate limits of the Town, unless the same shall be enclosed in proper vessels or containers as herein provided. The word "garbage" in this article is defined and shall be held to mean the refuse of any animal and vegetable food-stuffs, bottles, cans, and packages containing particles thereof. The word "trash" in this article is defined and shall be held to mean all refuse not within the definition of "garbage" including other empty cans, bottles, and paper products.
Private property. It shall be unlawful for any person to keep exposed or to deposit, throw or place, cause to be deposited thrown or placed, or to allow to accumulate any garbage or trash upon any private property, commercial or otherwise, whether owned by such person or not, except within the proper vessels or containers as herein provided. The word "garbage" and the word "trash" are defined in Section 11.3A(1).
Compost piles. Nothing in this subsection shall be interpreted to prohibit private compost piles maintained in a manner to control and prevent rodent infestation and obnoxious odors.
Trash and garbage receptacles.
Public trash receptacles. It shall be unlawful for any person or persons to take and carry away, or willfully break, damage or destroy any containers or other receptacles maintained by the Town upon any street or alley in the Town for the reception of paper, fifth, or waste matter. Such receptacles shall not be used for the reception of waste material from commercial establishments or residential homes.
Commercial trash and garbage receptacles. Proprietors of boardinghouses, restaurants, stores, and other commercial properties where trash and garbage is accumulated, or owners and agents of such places shall provide for the use of such premises a suitable mechanical disposal system approved by the local health officer, or, a receptacle or receptacles to contain all garbage or trash which may be accumulated on said premises during the interval between the collection of garbage or trash there from. Such receptacles shall be kept in good repair at all times. Each such receptacle shall be made of durable material, watertight, provided with a tight cover and shall be so constructed such that the contents can be removed easily by the waste collectors contracted by the commercial establishment.
Noncommercial Trash and Garbage Receptacles - Receptacles for noncommercial dwellings (i.e., private homes) containing "garbage" shall be leakproof and shall be kept securely covered at all times. Garbage shall not be placed in plastic bags or other containers which can be opened by animals. Receptacles containing "trash" or other wastes must be securely closed to prevent the contents from littering the area. These receptacles must be of such size and girth that they can be easily handled by the Town’s contracted refuse collectors and as otherwise prescribed by the Town Council pursuant to the applicable municipal solid waste removal contract. It shall be unlawful to use containers other than those prescribed by Council in said contract or resolution.
Trash and garbage collection.
Regular collection. Garbage and trash receptacles shall be placed within two feet of the curbline on the regularly scheduled collection day or days per week or the day after a holiday, if the holiday fell on a collection day; however, these scheduled collection days may change annually depending on the Town’s and the refuse contractor’s negotiations prior to signing a contract. The Town shall give notice of the designated collection dates in the Town newsletter prior to any change thereto.
Bulky trash collection. Bulky trash will be collected one day a week. Bulky trash is considered to be non-metal items and discarded furniture only, and must be placed in the same location as the trash receptacle would typically be placed on the eve of the scheduled bulky trash collection day. Water heaters and inoperative appliances will no longer be picked up by the refuse contractor. Occupants will be responsible for disposing of said items. Occupants are responsible for disposing of automobile motors and parts, fallen trees, cinder blocks, concrete, building materials, and motorcycles, and the like.
Placing receptacles and bulky trash. No garbage, trash receptacles or bulky refuse shall be permitted to be placed at curbside prior to sunset on the evening prior to the designated collection day, and the empty receptacles shall be removed prior to sunrise the day following the scheduled collection day.
Yard refuse. Bundled brush (i.e., length not to exceed four feet), bagged leaves and grass clippings shall be picked up only on designated days once per week.
Service charge. When it becomes necessary for the Town employees to pick up any appliance item there will be a charge of $35 per item. These items must be located at curbside for pickup. Appliances are considered to be all of the following: water heaters, washers, dryers, stoves, refrigerators, freezers and electronic equipment. Occupants are also responsible for disposing of these following items: automobile parts, bicycles, sheds, exercise equipment, motorcycles, fallen trees, metal items, and all types of building supplies. The charge for pickup of rimless tires shall be $4, or with rim the charge shall be $6.
The Town of Forest Heights shall participate in the Prince George’s County residential recycling program and shall be subject to the Prince George’s County recycling regulations. Should any provision of this section conflict with the Prince George’s County Recycling Regulations or the Prince George’s County Code of Ordinances, said Regulations and Code shall apply.
Except for qualifying households having all occupants above age 65 or disabled, a resident or tenant customer shall place a yellow bin or wheeled cart within two feet of the curbline on a regularly scheduled pickup day by 6:30 a.m.
The wheeled cart shall be placed with the arrow on the lid and the lift bar facing the street, and when placing the cart on the street nothing shall be placed in front of or beside the cart in such a manner as to obstruct its access by the contractor.
Items that may be placed in the yellow recycling bins or carts are as enumerated in the Prince George’s County Recycling Regulations which include but are not limited to: glass food and beverage containers; certain metals; empty aerosol cans; aluminum, bimetal, ferrous, and steel food and beverage containers; aluminum foil; coat hangers; mixed paper, corrugated cardboard, magazines, newspapers, books; certain plastics, narrow-neck plastic containers with code identification numbers 1 through 7, and wide-mouth plastic containers.
The recycling containers (i.e., yellow bin or cart) shall be removed prior to sun up the following day.
Subject to the Prince George’s County Recycling Regulations, recyclables shall not be collected on Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day or Christmas Day, and recycling collection shall resume on the next regularly scheduled collection day.
A wheeled recycling cart issued to a customer shall remain the property of Prince George’s County.
[Amended 8-4-2014 by Ord. No. 09-14]
Payment of the municipal solid waste service charge by each residential home or property owner receiving or served by the Town’s refuse disposal system pursuant to this Article and Title 9, Subtitle 7 of the Environment Article of the Annotated Code of Maryland shall be billed on behalf of the Town and made payable directly by the property owner to Prince George’s County by way of the consolidated tax bill issued for each fiscal year. The Council shall establish or levy the municipal solid waste service fee each year concurrent with or before the deadline of the annual levy of real property or other tax rates. Unpaid fees or charges made pursuant to this Article shall be deemed a lien on the serviced or subject property collectable in the same manner as real property taxes.
The contractor shall initially supply each occupied dwelling unit with a cart or bin (i.e., ninety-five-gallon) without cost to the Town or the customer. The contractor or the Town shall as permitted by contract or resolution replace or supply additional carts (i.e., ninety-five-gallon) to any residents requesting said carts or bins for service to a dwelling. Unless the applicable contract or a resolution states otherwise, the contractor or the Town may charge a reasonable delivery fee not to exceed $15 in addition to a fee of $60 for the cost of an additional cart. This fee shall be added to the contractor’s or Town’s invoice to be sent to the property owner or designated occupant. The fees stated in this Article are subject to change pursuant to the applicable contract or resolution of the Town Council.
The status or condition of any residential property’s occupancy, use or ownership, whether rented, vacant, occupied, temporarily vacant, undergoing foreclosure, or pending sale, shall not relieve the record owner of liability for the Town’s annual solid waste service charges.
The Treasurer, with the cooperation of the Public Works Director or the Mayor’s designee, shall annually review and certify to the Council the assessment of all properties in the Town thereby classified as being served by the Town’s refuse disposal system and subject to billing pursuant to this section.
Any person violating the provisions of the Article shall be guilty of an, infraction and shall, upon conviction, be fined not more than $200 for the first offense. Repeat offenders may be assessed a fine not to exceed $400 for each repeat offense.