Oct 25, 2006

On Future Scofflaws and Trash in Toledo

Trash in Toledo, OH Left: taking out the trash too early may soon be illegal in Toledo

(Toledo, OH) I have a neighbor who is approaching 80 years of age. I watched as she used her walker to carry out her trash to the street this afternoon at 2:45 pm. Pictured at the left is the focus of her afternoon exertion.

Beginning next week my neighbor - who shall remain nameless - will be subject to a fine of $75 for such behavior. Toledo mayor Carty Finkbeiner has determined that the city will be a cleaner place to live if residents are prohibited from taking out the trash before 5:00 pm the day before pickup. Additional violations will result in fines of $150.

Toledo - it is no secret - has many problems. Unemployment is running near 8 percent, and in some sectors of the population (say, young central city males) it is as high as 25 percent. Crime problems in many neighborhoods make going out at night quite a risky proposition, and economic investment in the city is, at best, stagnant.

But Mr. Finkbeiner sees garbage as an important area of focus for city inspectors, and he intends to punish citizens who are early in their curbside trash placement.

I have heard many dubious ideas developed by politicians in the four score plus years I have walked upright, and more than a few of those have been by this particular mayor. The Toledo Trash Initiative, however, is among a select group of boneheaded laws that is likely to further alienate citizens of Toledo.

Mr. Finkbeiner: you were elected to manage city government and promote economic development, not to engage in bureaucratic terrorism of law-abiding citizens. Get to work on the important issues that face Toledo, and stop wasting our time with harebrained schemes such as this.


Anonymous said...


As if you let your little old 80 year old neighbor take the trash out by herself! You ought to be ashamed, mister!

Your friend in being Dr. Ray's workhorse,

Billy Pilgrim said...

Mike, I'm flustered and outraged at such a meaningless, bureaucratic initiative. While a small cluster of garbage bags are never a particularly attractive site on the corner of someone's lawn, surely the city's leaders can find more pressing issues to occupy their time.

Anchorage Activist said...

Anchorage, Alaska started enforcing a similar law several months ago. So what's someone who goes to work at midnight but who doesn't get off until 9 A.M. after trash has been collected supposed to do? The Anchorage Assembly neither thought about that nor cared about it.

Too many municipal lawmakers are more interested in creating Potemkin villages than livable cities.

Anonymous said...

Toledo's unemployment rate for September 2006 is 5.9 NOT 8.0. Get the facts straight!

Anonymous said...

I agree with the anonymous #1 response; whatever happened to neighbors helping out other neighbors? Help the lady out for goodness sakes, your momma didn't raise a fool. This should be a lesson for ALL residents in Toledo to help out one another.

historymike said...

The unemployment rate listed by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) for August 2006 in the Toledo metropolitan area was 6.1% Source.

These figures, though, include the suburbs. The last statistic I saw for the city itself was 7.9%.

historymike said...

(goes in corner for not helping the older neighbor with her trash)

Anonymous said...

Mike, relax. Not all seniors want help from their able-bodied neighbors. They like staying as independent as they can for as long as possible.

Also, we're not always helping people by taking away tasks that keep them moving and exercising. These are lessons I've learned while dealing with an elderly family member. I've gotten lectures saying that sometimes kindness is expressed by leaving people alone to do what they can.

Carty has me really, really steamed over this hairbrained trash initiative. I wonder if this will go the way of ticketing the boom boxers, people with snow on their walks, and litter bugs. There's the threat of a fine, but does it ever happen?

I hope we don't waste city employees' time on craziness like this.

I can see the point if someone habitually puts out trash days in advance of pickup. I've had neighbors who treated the curb like the garbage can, adding bags every day, starting each week the same day as pickup after the trash is collected. That seems like it's unnecessary.

But what about people who, once or twice a year, do extensive cleaning -- and put items at the curb?

What about people who are moving and won't be at the property on trash day?

What about people going on vacation?

What about evictions where places are emptied and everything's put at the curb days in advance?

There are many reasons why Carty needs to say "never mind" and move on. He needs to learn proportionality, and he needs to focus on what matters.

One trash-related thing I would like to see: if a cop witnesses someone ripping open trash bags to sort what's inside, levy a hefty fine. This is where the messes come from. Two or three weeks in a row, people ripped open my trash bags (twice all they got for their effort was used cat litter). Last week I waited till after 6am to put the bags out, which is about 90 minutes prior to pickup. Jerks still managed to rip open the bags and cause a mess.

Name withheld to protect the guilty said...

Funny, I thought stupid ordinances like this were reserved to snooty suburbs.

MaumeeMom said...

Does Toledo have a policy to help the disabled? We do here in Maumee. I pulled this from the Maumee City website:

DISABLED RESIDENTS CARRY-OUTS: Carry-out and carry-back service will be provided to residents who meet the City's requirements for disabled or handicapped service, and are approved for this type of service. This service will be provided up to a maximum of three (3) containers. The service does not include yard waste materials. On designated "disabled carry-outs", collectors will not enter garages or dwellings or enter enclosed premises when the gate is locked or if a pet is loose upon the premises.

Maybe your neighbor could apply if Toledo has such a policy.

This whole trash thing is a mess!

Mark said...

Interesting point by maumeemom.

Must respond to this:
"Toledo's unemployment rate for September 2006 is 5.9 NOT 8.0. Get the facts straight!"

Fine, here's a fact: much of downtown Toledo is vacant, and there ARE more pressing issues to take care of. Thank you, Mike.

Anonymous said...

Michael, did you see this about the 92-year-old woman getting a ticket for 75 bucks?http://wtol.com/Global/story.asp?S=5597016

-Sepp said...

I posted a nice rant about this too. It's a hot topic. Did anyone from council fight this crap or, does Carty really have unlimited power?

Peahippo said...

Carty & Company are only doing this since they are almost entirely concerned with how the city looks, not how the city functions. Carty himself is a notorious "style meister" who is incapable of seeing any deeper into any issue other than surface concerns.

We have 3 more years of this kind of pointless governing from Carty's office. Otherwise .... remember, folks, Carty becomes eligible for a recalling in 2007! Perhaps we should elect a capable and sane person, then.

liberal_dem said...

Carty? Now there's a one-word joke!

Hooda Thunkit said...

Now, now, now.., Charlatan is doing the very best that can, considering his very limited mental horsepower.

The biger issues are too big for him to wrap his limited mind/head around, and he can only dream of being able to see the bigger picture.

So leave the mental midget to his petty annoyances or who knows, he could take on the bigger issues if he gets delusions of adequacy.