City of Fresno Moves From Education to Enforcement on Container in View and Contamination Ordinances

FRESNO, CA (August 24, 2006) –The City of Fresno’s Solid Waste Management Division will begin enforcement of the Container in View and Contamination Ordinances beginning September 5, 2006.

Over the past eighteen weeks, Solid Waste employees have diligently worked to educate the community of the upcoming ordinance implementation, offering solutions and sending staff to conduct site visits at homes throughout Fresno. The City has researched the most inexpensive, acceptable methods of screening the containers and will bring out the materials to demonstrate the best answer for each individual customer.

“The goal is not to fine customers, it’s to find solutions,” said Joleen Wofford, Community Coordinator for the Solid Waste Management Division. “We have worked with many people to come up with ideas, and we will continue to do so, even as we move into this next phase of the program.”

All containers should be placed at the curb for collection before 5:30 a.m. on collection day, but not before 6 p.m. the preceding day. On the scheduled pick-up day, carts should be placed out of view no later than 8 p.m. Containers should be moved behind a fence or placed behind a screen so they cannot be viewed from the street. Carts left out on non-service-days create an unsightly appearance in our neighborhoods and can be a safety hazard as well.

In addition to the Container in View Ordinance, the City will also be enforcing the Contamination Ordinance, ensuring that customers place the correct items in the recycling carts. Contamination occurs when any non-recyclable items are placed in the blue or green cart, contaminating the contents of the cart.

The City spends approximately $500,000 a year removing contamination found in the recycling carts. Items such as diapers, Styrofoam or food waste are considered contamination when placed in the blue cart. Additionally, when people put leaves or grass clippings in a plastic bag before placing it in the green cart, the plastic contaminates the green cart. Plastic bags must be removed before the green waste can be processed.

No citations have been given out to date. Official citations will be sent in the mail on the same day the incident occurs. After two citation notices, customers will receive a $50 citation in the mail. The fine increases to $100 on the fourth incident and $200 on the fifth instance. A customer will not be fined more than $1,500 in a
12-month period.

For examples of how to conceal solid waste carts, and to view a complete list of what items go in the green, gray and blue carts, customers can log onto the Web site at or contact the Solid Waste Division at 559-621-1452.

CONTACT: Rhonda Jorn, Public Affairs Officer (559) 621-7777

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