Trash Talk At City Council Continues

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Trash talk was a big topic at the Monday Athens City Council Meeting as residents took to the podium to complain about visible trashcan warnings.

City Council is currently trying to amend a city ordinance to increase fines and regulations about trashcans in street view. This ordinance specifies that garbage containers should be kept out of street view unless it is garbage collection day.

City Council Member Chris Fahl introduced the second reading of the trash ordinance by commenting that the office had received many phone calls, emails and letters about visible trashcans in the past week.

Mayor Paul Wiehl says he sent code enforcement officials out last week to gather data about how many Athens residents would be in violation if their trashcans could be seen from the street.

Six people stood up during the City Council Meeting on Monday to voice their concerns and support for the ordinance.

Athens resident and Ohio University professor Dr. Bernhard Debatin was one person that spoke up.

"This code and the way that it was interpreted in these warnings seem to be so broad that it includes everything from people who really don’t care, and I do agree we have a trash problem in Athens quite obviously," he said. "You just go around in some neighborhoods and you see that that is a problem. But, on the other hand, we just have people who put their trashcans in their backyard."

City Council also passed a Nuisance Party Ordinance that fines violators $150 for having police report to their home. Violators can appeal the charge, but risk a misdemeanor charge.