Otero County, NM
 
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of County Commissioners of Otero County 11-14-2013 by Ord. No. 13-05.[1] Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Open burning — See Ch. 111.
Disposal of tires — See Ch. 210.
Junked vehicles — See Ch. 220.
STATE LAW REFERENCES
Counties; powers; ordinances — See NMSA 1978, § 4-37-1 et seq.
Authority of Board of County Commissioners to administer — See NMSA 1978, § 4-56-3.
Highway Beautification Act — See NMSA 1978, § 67-12-1 et seq.
Hazardous Waste Act — See NMSA 1978, § 74-4-1 et seq.
[1]
Editor's Note: This ordinance superseded former Ch. 190, Solid Waste, adopted 4-15-2003 by Ord. No. 03-09.
This chapter shall be known and cited as the "Otero County Solid Waste Ordinance."
A. 
The Board of County Commissioners has determined, pursuant to NMSA 1978, § 4-37-1 et seq., and NMSA 1978, § 4-56-3(C), that it is in the interest of public health, safety, and welfare that the subject matter of this chapter be regulated as provided herein.
B. 
The purpose of this chapter is to preserve and protect the health, safety, and quality of life of the inhabitants of Otero County and to preserve and improve the environmental quality of the County.
For the purpose of this chapter, the following terms, phrases, words and their derivatives shall have the meanings stated herein:
ACCUMULATION
To gather or collect into a mound, heap, mass, or coverage; forming a steadily increasing quantity.
ARROYO
Includes any canyon, draw or wash or any other earthen channel with visible evidence of the occasional flow of water.
ASHES
Fire residue of any kind, including, but not limited to, fireplace ashes, barbecue grill briquettes, wood chips, wood stove ashes, campfire ashes, hot waste or other material susceptible to spontaneous combustion.
CONSTRUCTION OR DEMOLITION DEBRIS
Materials generally considered water-insoluble and nonhazardous in nature, including, but not limited to, steel, glass, brick, concrete, asphalt, roofing materials, pipe, gypsum wallboard, and lumber from the construction or destruction of a structure, and includes rocks, soil, tree remains, trees, and other vegetative matter that normally results from land clearing. If such debris is mixed with any other type of solid waste, it loses its classification as construction and demolition debris.
COUNTY MANAGER
The chief administrative assistant to the Board of County Commissioners of Otero County.
DEBRIS
All waste building material, including, but not limited to, bricks, concrete blocks, shingles, roofing material, lumber, pipe, commercial construction wastes, and any other matter that is commonly known as "debris."
DISMANTLED OR PARTIALLY DISMANTLED VEHICLE
Any motor vehicle or trailer from which some parts or parts which are ordinarily a component thereof have been removed or are missing.
FLOODPLAIN
The relatively flat area or low land adjoining the channel of a watercourse or a body of standing water which has been or may be covered by floodwaters, and which has a one-percent chance of occurring in a given number of years, the limits of which are shown on a National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM).
GARBAGE
Includes all waste food, swill, carrion, slops, and all waste from the preparation, cooking and consumption of food and from the handling, storage and sale of food products and the carcasses of animals.
GROUNDWATER
Interstitial water which occurs in saturated earth material and which is capable of entering a well in sufficient amounts to be utilized as a water supply.
HAULER
Any person who collects refuse or debris from any property not owned by that person.
INOPERATIVE OR INOPERABLE MOTOR VEHICLE
A motor vehicle from or on which the engine or motor, the transmission or transaxle, drive shaft, differential, steering mechanism, axles, wheels, body, doors, windshield, headlights, taillights, or any other part of the vehicle is removed, damaged, wrecked, partially dismantled, or in such a state of disrepair that the vehicle cannot be either moved under its own power, driven, licensed or operated on a public road, street, highway, or any other public thoroughfare.
LANDFILL
A facility designed for the disposal of refuse and solid waste permitted in accordance with EID Regulation EID/SWMR-2 and this chapter.
LITTER
Any quantity of improperly discarded solid waste, decaying or nondecaying solid or semisolid waste, including but not limited to discarded furniture and appliances, overflowing residential and commercial trash cans, construction debris, uncontainerized paper such as fast-food packages, candy wrappers, cigarette butts, and/or plastic, glass, trash, debris, rubbish, refuse, garbage, or junk parts and scrap materials found in public areas or generated while traveling in a motor vehicle.
MOTOR VEHICLE
Any wheeled vehicle which is self-propelled or intended to be self-propelled.
PERSON
Any individual, partnership, company, corporation, firm, association, trust, estate, state and federal agency, government instrumentality or agency, institution, county, city, town, village, or municipality or other legal entity, however organized.
PUBLIC AREA
Any land owned by the community or open to common use, such as streets, roads, sidewalks, alleys, arroyos, or other public ways, and any and all public parks, spaces, grounds, and buildings.
REFUSE
Includes garbage and rubbish.
RUBBISH
Includes, but is not limited to, all dismantled or partially dismantled motor vehicles, inoperable motor vehicles, dismantled or partially dismantled mobile homes or trailers, waste paper, metal, paper cartons, cardboard, tree branches, yard waste, wood, glass, plastic, discarded furniture, signs, and appliances or parts thereof, tin cans, dirt, ashes, bottles, liquid petroleum waste, such as motor oil and similar items, and all other unwholesome material of every kind, not including garbage.
SOLID WASTE
Means, but is not limited to, any garbage, litter, refuse, debris, rubbish, yard waste, appliances, inoperable vehicles, construction and demolition debris, or other discarded material originating from residential, industrial, or commercial sources.
WATER TABLE
The surface in unconfined groundwater at which the pressure is atmospheric and which is defined by the levels at which water stands in wells that penetrate the water just far enough to hold standing water.
WELL
A bored, drilled or driven shaft or a dug hole whose depth is greater than the largest surface dimension of the hole.
YARD WASTE
Vegetative matter resulting from landscaping, land maintenance and land-clearing operations.
A. 
No person shall permit to accumulate upon premises owned, leased, or occupied by him, within 200 feet of another property boundary or public easement (prescriptive or otherwise), any refuse, solid waste, or litter, unless stored in containers so as to prevent undue risk to human health or the environment. All commercial properties located adjacent to U.S. Highways 54, 70, and 82 and the Charlie Lee Memorial Relief Route are hereby granted a one-year grace period from the effective date of this chapter within which to come into compliance with the requirements of this chapter. The provisions of this subsection shall not apply to those commercial properties such as junkyards and automobile graveyards as defined by the Highway Beautification Act, NMSA 1978, § 67-12-1 through 67-12-15, effective July 1, 1966, located adjacent to US Highways 54, 70 and 82 and the Charlie Lee Memorial Relief Route which qualified for exemption from the provisions of the Highway Beautification Act on its effective date.
B. 
No person shall throw, dump, or dispose of any refuse, solid waste, or litter on any road, street, gutter, sidewalk, or alley; nor shall any person set fire or cause or procure a fire to be set to any rubbish, refuse, garbage, or solid waste unless in an incinerator which has been approved by a state agency. No cans, cartons, wrappings containing food or organic waste, hair, wool, rubber, plastic, or any other substance which would create offensive, obnoxious or dangerous fumes or odors shall be burned.
C. 
No person in control of that property or that causes such action shall cause or permit to remain upon any property, private or public, any refuse, solid waste, or any composition of residue thereof which is in an unsanitary condition or hazardous to public health.
D. 
Subject to any limitations or otherwise provided by law, the Sheriff or County Code Enforcement Officer is authorized to enforce this chapter.
(1) 
If, upon the basis of such inspections, the Sheriff or County Code Enforcement Officer finds that any of Subsections A through C of this section have not been complied with or that a violation exists, he/she shall notify the person in charge of the premises (whether owner, tenant, lessee, manager, or other person), where the unlawful refuse, solid waste, or litter accumulations exist, to properly correct such conditions within a designated period of time from 10 days up to 30 days.
(2) 
Upon the failure, neglect, or refusal of any person, owner, tenant, lessee, manager, or occupant to properly correct any such conditions as set forth herein within the time prescribed (or within five days of the return of such prescribed notice undeliverable if the notice is served by mail), the Otero County Board of Commissioners may contract for the correction of unlawful accumulation or order its correction by the County, at the expense of the person, owner, tenant, lessee, manager, or occupant in charge of the property.
(3) 
The cost for correction shall be a lien upon the property and shall remain in full force and effect for the amount due plus interest at the legal rate from the date of filing of the lien until paid, and all other costs, including attorneys' fees. The lien shall be enforced and foreclosed according to applicable state law.
E. 
Costs for correction of unlawful accumulation of refuse, solid waste, or litter shall be determined on the basis of man-worked hours, equipment at a customary rental rate per day, plus any direct cost paid by the County to correct the accumulation.
F. 
Nothing in Subsection D of this section shall be construed to require any notice before the filing of a Magistrate Court action for a civil or criminal violation of this section.
G. 
Penalty. Violation of this section, in addition to any other cost assessed for the cleanup of illegal stored or deposited refuse, solid waste, or litter, shall be punished under the provisions of § 190-8 of this chapter.
All solid waste generated within or brought into the County is owned by and is the responsibility of the generator until such time as the waste is deposited in a landfill or approved solid waste facility or removed by a licensed private contractor, except where state or federal requirements prohibit transfer of ownership. Any person who removes solid waste from a property shall take ownership of the waste until it is taken to a convenience center, transfer station, or landfill.
Requirements for vehicles. Commercial producers of solid waste, owners of premises upon which solid waste is accumulated, licensed transporters of solid waste, or persons who desire to dispose of waste material which is not included in the definition of "solid waste" shall do so only in compliance with the provisions of this chapter. Collection of solid waste shall be accomplished through the use of a vehicle with a tightly secured cover. Such vehicles shall be operated to prevent offensive odors escaping therefrom and solid waste from being blown, dropped, or spilled.
A. 
Dumping. No person shall discard solid waste, rubbish, or refuse anywhere outdoors within the boundaries of the County except at a time and place approved for collection of that person's solid waste under the terms of this chapter and regulations authorized by said sections or other provisions of this Code or ordinances of the County. No person shall place solid waste in the solid waste receptacle of another person, business or institution without permission.
B. 
Unauthorized accumulation. It shall be unlawful to allow any solid waste, rubbish, or refuse to collect or accumulate on any property or other premises within the County. Any such unauthorized accumulation is hereby declared to be a nuisance and is prohibited.
C. 
Accumulation of construction and demolition debris. Debris resulting from construction or demolition of structures may be collected within an active construction site only if the solid waste is contained in such a manner that it will not be carried or deposited by the elements upon any road, sidewalk, parkway, sewer, ditch, arroyo, other public place, vacant lot, private property, or into any premises within the County.
D. 
Illegal use of convenience centers. No person shall place solid waste, rubbish, or refuse on the premises of an Otero County convenience center or landfill except during the regular posted operating hours.
E. 
Hazardous accumulations and conditions. It shall be unlawful for any person to allow the following conditions to exist on any premises he owns, rents or occupies:
(1) 
The existence of three or more or any combination of nonoperational motor scooters, motorcycles, cars, trucks, buses or other vehicles regulated by the New Mexico Department of Motor Vehicles, unless the vehicle owner, property owner, or property lessee can show substantial progress in restoration or repairs to the nonoperational vehicle in the last 30 days or purchase orders, invoices or estimates for repair work to be done in the next 30 days; provided, however, that this section shall have no application where:
(a) 
A person is engaged in a New Mexico Department of Motor Vehicles licensed vehicle dismantling business and any nonoperational vehicles are enclosed by a fence of solid construction of wood, brick, metal, or other similar materials, not less than seven feet in height above the level of the ground and maintained in a sightly, safe and secure condition; or
(b) 
Any inoperable vehicles are not visible to the public from any road or street abutting such property, or, if visible, any nonoperational vehicles are enclosed by a fence of solid construction of wood, brick, metal, or other similar materials, not less than seven feet in height above the level of the ground and maintained in a sightly, safe, and secure condition.
(2) 
The existence of nonoperational refrigerators or freezers or any other type of appliance, furniture, vehicle or other container that has a space large enough for a person of any age to enter into with a door, hatch, lid, or cover of any kind capable of closing or sealing which could prevent the escape of any person, not within a licensed sanitary landfill or a licensed commercial salvage business registered with the State of New Mexico.
(3) 
The existence of piles of rubbish, refuse, household trash, tires, debris, grass, weeds, tree limbs, or any other type of material(s) which are or may be susceptible to infestation by rodents, reptiles, insects, or noxious weeds or any other type of animal or plant that is or can be injurious to people, animals or the environment, not within a licensed sanitary landfill or New Mexico Environment Department or other regulatory agency regulated facility.
A. 
Persons convicted of violating of this chapter shall be punishable by a fine of $300 or imprisonment for 90 days, or both the fine and imprisonment, except as set forth in Subsections B, C, and D below.
B. 
Persons violating this chapter by discarding or disposing of solid waste or debris on public or private property in any manner other than disposing of it in an authorized landfill, convenience center, or transfer station shall, upon conviction, be subject to a fine not to exceed $1,000.
C. 
Persons violating this chapter by the improper or illegal disposal of hazardous materials or waste in any manner other than as provided for in the Hazardous Waste Act[1] shall, upon conviction, be subject to a fine not to exceed $5,000.
[1]
Editor's Note: See NMSA 1978, § 74-4-1 et seq.
D. 
Each violation shall constitute a separate offense. Each day an offense continues shall also constitute a separate offense.
It is hereby declared to be the intention of the Board of County Commissioners that the sections, paragraphs, sentences, clauses and phrases of this chapter shall be deemed severable; and if any phrase, clause, sentence, paragraph or section of this chapter is declared unconstitutional or otherwise invalid by the valid judgment of a court of competent jurisdiction, such unconstitutionality or invalidity shall not affect any of the remaining phrases, clauses, sentences, paragraphs or sections hereof.
This chapter shall be recorded in a book kept for that purpose and shall be authenticated by the signature of the County Clerk.
This chapter shall take effect 30 days after recording in the public records of Otero County.