Pascagoula cracks down on garbage cans

PASCAGOULA, MS (WLOX) - If you live in Pascagoula and have a habit of leaving your trash cans out for days on end, you might want to break that habit. If not, it could cost you. The city council has passed a new law requiring citizens to get those cans off the curbs and sidewalks in a timely manner.

"We've had some complaints that trash cans are sitting in the streets for extended periods of time, sometimes five or six days, and sometimes the entire week till the next day of collection," Pascagoula City Manager Joe Huffman explained.

That is going to change. Citizens will be required to start hauling in the cans in a timely manner. It's a change most seem to like.

"I think it's a great idea. You can't leave your trash cans outside on the road all day and all night, too," Frank Dock said. "So just everybody to get this stuff in and off the side of the road and I think that will be a great idea."

Sharon Freeman enjoys a daily walk, sometimes dodging trash cans.

"We just walk around it. We kind of learned to adapt," Freeman said of the garbage cans. "I think it's a realistic idea and I don't think they should be out there for more than 24 hours."

Others, like Charlene Parry, say safety is a main concern.

"The children that are waking to school have difficulty getting by there. They have to go out and around to get to the other side of the sidewalk. So it needs to be picked up," Parry implored.

For the next two months, city officials plan an educational campaign to let citizens of Pascagoula know about the new ordinance and its ramifications. After that, things could change, according to Huffman.

"We'll look at issuing citations, if necessary," Huffman said. "I don't really think we're going to come to the point where we have to issue citations. I've worked for cities in the past that have had these kinds of ordinances in the past and usually we just look for compliance."

The bottom line, comply or pay up. Starting July 1, people cannot place their cans on the curb earlier than 10am the day before collection takes place. The cans must be removed no later than 10pm on the actual day of collection. Violation of the new ordinance is punishable by a fine of up to $1,000. Anyone who is issued a citation would have their case heard in city court.

Copyright 2014 WLOX. All rights reserved.