Question/Comment: A resident would like to complain that on 3/22/10 s/he received a citation for $50 for "trash on ground not in covered barrel." This was refuse that was soaking in his/her flooded basement due to the heavy rain the previous week. the resident cleaned the basement to avoid a mold health hazard on Sunday 3/21/10 and stacked the trash neatly on the side of his/her home pending trash pickup day on 3/25/10, and it has now been removed. The resident considers the citation to be mean-spirited and solely for the City's financial gain. The resident suggests that a warning be issued in a situation like this and will be contesting the citation.
City Update 3/30/10: This particular complaint is currently under review by the City's Inspection Services Department (ISD) to make a determination as if it is warranted. If this type of situation should occur, or if residents have a situation where they know they will have more trash than normal; they may call 311 and alert the City of their situation. The City will usually without a doubt oblige the request and no tickets will be issued.
There is also appeals process that all residents can follow if they believe a citation that is issued was done so in error. Each case is reviewed by the hearing officer and when possible, an inspector is also present at the hearings. According to the ordinance for household trash and rubbish, any trash must be in a covered barrel, whether it is stored outside on private property, or set on the curb on the day when there is curb-side pickup in the neighborhood. This ordinance was carefully structured to address a significant rodent problem in Somerville a few years ago.