Syracuse (WSYR-TV) - It’s an annual event in the city of Syracuse – students return home from school and leave piles of garbage and furniture and other refuse on the streets around the university area.
Often times, landlords will be hit with a code violation if the junk isn’t disposed of properly. The city picks up the excess garbage at taxpayers’ expense.
This year, if landlords pay $225, the city will pick up garbage piles any day until May 24.
If landlords don’t sign up for the removal and leave refuse more than a day before their collection day, they will receive a minimum $225 fine each time the city sees it until it’s removed. The city’s goal is to keep the streets clean as students move out.
In their home-away-from-home, students accumulate a lot of different items from appliances to furniture. What can’t fit into the family car is often left on the curb.
Others might take advantage of the used items.
“They threw away microwaves, air purifiers, you name it. They throw everything away. And I'm just like - mine! I'm going to find someone who needs it,” said Sarah Jackson.
Excessive piles, however, can result in code violations as the city is left to take care of the mess.
“The taxpayers of the city have traditionally paid for the extra pick ups because I did not want to let people have to live in filth and garbage for months at a time. But as the city has transitioned into difficult fiscal times, we felt it was appropriate to have people who are utilizing extra services pay for those services,” Mayor Stephanie Miner said.
The mayor says the new municipal option is similar to private junk removal companies - and the city has already seen cleaner streets this graduation season than in years past because of it.
Ways to avoid code violations:
- Don’t put trash out any sooner than the night before it’s scheduled pick-up
- The trash should be contained properly, making it easier for the trash collectors
- Trash shouldn’t be more than two cubic yards (comparable to the size of a washer and dryer side-by-side
More information on the Syracuse Code Enforcement Office is available at its web page