City of Lawton enforcing holiday trash rules - KSWO, Lawton, OK- Wichita Falls, TX: News, Weather, Sports. ABC, 24/7, Telemundo -

City of Lawton enforcing holiday trash rules

Lawton_With Christmas and Hanukkah come lots of presents, and with those gifts comes wrapping paper, boxes, Styrofoam, and more.  There will be a lot of trash to dispose of once everything is unwrapped and opened.  The City of Lawton says you can't leave all of your trash on the curb for the trash collectors, and unless you follow the rules you may be fined.  However, there will be holiday trash pickup for all of the extra holiday trash.

Taking your holiday trash to the curb too early could cost you a fine, and leaving the can out after the trash collectors came by also could get you fined.  The Neighborhood Services Department is issuing citations for residents who violate city code by leaving their trash cans at the curb for more than one day. 

If a can is out too early, it can get blown over and cause a mess - including a fine of up to $750.  "It is a nuisance, and it's a safety hazard," said Tony Griffith with Neighborhood Services.  "Those trash cans do blow around in the heavy wind - they blow into vehicles.  We are concerned about all that so we encourage people to take care of each other by getting their trash can properly secured."

A lot of trash carts are city property, so the city must foot the bill when their cans get damaged and become garbage themselves.  "If people leave cans on the road, and they get beat up, the city has to replace them," said Jayson Powell with Solid Waste Collection.  "The city has to waste city money that doesn't have to be spent if people would just follow directions."

The city says to take your trash out between 8 PM the night before garbage pick up, and 7 AM after the trash gets picked up.  It may sound like a hassle, but the city says it's a real concern.  "If you think about it, if someone put their trash out two days prior to pick up, and especially if they got a bunch of leftover food, hambones, and the dogs rip open the trash bags and it blew all over the neighborhood, down the street, it creates a real mess," said Griffith.

The City of Lawton has six code enforcement workers, and if you're caught violating the code, you will receive a warning to rectify the situation in 10 days.  A second violation within six months can earn you a hefty fine.  "Citations are the last resort," said Griffith.  "We process about 1,000 complaints a month here, and we issue about 30 citations."

If Christmas leaves you with more trash than your receptacles will hold, don't leave garbage lying around the containers.  The city will have a quarterly clean up, beginning January 5, where they will collect extra trash.  City officials say that one easy way to cut back on the amount of Christmas garbage is to recycle boxes and wrapping paper.  Set out quarterly cleanup trash on January 1-4.
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