City of Cortland, NY
Cortland County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Common Council of the City of Cortland as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Littering — See Ch. 181.
Property maintenance — See Ch. 220.
Radioactive waste — See Ch. 226.
[Adopted 12-18-1991 by L.L. No. 9-1991; amended 7-7-1994 by L.L. No. 2-1994; 5-16-1995 by L.L. No. 1-1995 (Ch. 7 1/2, Art. I, of the 1969 Code of Ordinances)]

§ 241-1 Definitions.

For the purposes of this article, the following terms shall have the meanings stated in this section:
ALUMINUM
Pure aluminum in any form, including but not limited to cans.
BOARD
The Board of Public Works.
BRUSH
Tree branches not exceeding six inches in diameter, twigs, and shrub and ledge and lawn clippings and leaves, excluding root systems.
BULK ITEMS
Large items and materials, including furniture, aluminum yard furniture, house furnishings and large appliances such as refrigerators, stoves, washing machines, clothes dryers, mattresses and tires.
CHEMICAL WASTE
Chemical waste generated by any industrial process or operation, paint, paint thinner, household toxics, i.e., weed killers.
CITY
The City of Cortland or its designated representatives as authorized by the Mayor of the Common Council.
COLLECTIBLE YARD WASTES
Grass, leaves, twigs, and waste plants from vegetable and flower gardens, lawns and yards (no stones).
COMMON COUNCIL
The Common Council of the City of Cortland.
CORRUGATED CARDBOARD
Cardboard shipping containers (clean, dry, free from tape and staples and wax).
DEPARTMENT
The Department of Public Works, or its designated agent.
ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS
Police, fire, code enforcement and Department of Public Works officers, or any other designated agency or employee.
HAZARDOUS WASTE
That waste as defined by § 27-0901 of the Environmental Conservation Law, as amended.
[Amended 4-2-2002 by L.L. No. 1-2002]
NEWSPAPERS
Newsprints (clean and dry). It does not include glossy inserts, magazines, catalogs or similar materials.
PERSON
One or more individuals; any partnership, corporation, firm, association, trust, estate or governmental entity and any other entity whatsoever.
RECYCLE COSTS
That portion of the City of Cortland's solid waste collection service that relates to collecting, transporting and hauling recyclable materials. Such costs shall also include efforts by the City to educate and inform the public about recycling issues and programs.
RECYCLABLE MATERIALS
Clear (flint), green and brown glass bottles, jugs and jars; aluminum and metal cans; newspapers; corrugated cardboard; and plastics. "Recyclable materials" does not include plate glass, window glass or any other type of glass not specified in this definition. It does include any material designated from time to time by the Cortland County Solid Waste Coordinator or other governmental entity which is applicable to the City of Cortland and which, under any applicable law or regulation, is not hazardous and which is separated from the waste stream and held for its material recycling or reuse value.
REFUSE
Rubbish and recyclable materials.
A. 
Food wastes, including but not limited to table cleanings; fruit, vegetable and animal matter parings and scraps; decaying or spoiled vegetable, animal and fruit matter; and fallen fruit.
B. 
Any paper, plastic, cardboard or other material used to wrap, cover or contain food, other than certain glass jars, jugs or bottles defined in this section as "recyclable materials"; and any other household waste resulting from the use, consumption and preparation of food.
C. 
Plastic, metal (other than pure aluminum), rags, drugs, health aids and materials, sweepings, Styrofoam, rubber, leather, cloth, clothing, magazines, paper (other than newspapers), waste materials from normal maintenance and repair activities, pasteboard, crockery, shells, dirt, filth, glass (other than certain glass bottles, jugs and jars defined in this section as "recyclable wastes") and any other similar waste material. "Rubbish" does not include recyclable materials, as defined in this section. However, "rubbish" shall include recyclable materials which cannot be recycled because of secondary household use, i.e., newspapers used for pets.
D. 
Paint cans or thinners, emptied and dry with lids and/or caps removed.
E. 
Small appliances such as can openers, vacuum cleaners, small radios, etc. (not televisions or other bulk items).
RUBBLE
Waste material typically resulting from construction, demolition and renovation activities, including but not limited to waste cement, concrete, masonry, bricks, tiles, Sheetrock, plaster, shingles, ashes, wood, lumber and any similar material.
SUPERINTENDENT
The Superintendent of Public Works.
TIPPING FEE
That fee charged by the County of Cortland to the City of Cortland for the solid waste collected by the City of Cortland and accepted for disposal at the Cortland County Landfill. Said fee is charged on a per-ton-of-garbage basis.
USER
Any owner of real property located within the City of Cortland who makes use of the City of Cortland's curbside solid waste (garbage) collection service or recycling collection service. Placing solid waste or recyclable materials out at the curbside of one's property, for collection by the City of Cortland on even one occasion each year, shall classify the property owner of said property as a user of the City of Cortland's solid waste collection service.
USER FEE
The fee charged by the City of Cortland to the owner of real property for of the solid waste collection service provided by the City of Cortland.
WASTE MATERIALS
Brush and rubble.

§ 241-2 Waste materials to be collected.

A. 
The Department shall be responsible for collecting on a weekly basis only those waste materials that constitute refuse, namely rubbish and recyclable materials.
B. 
The Department shall be responsible for collecting brush in a manner and at such times as prescribed by the Superintendent.
C. 
The Department shall also be responsible for collecting rubble in a manner and at such times as prescribed by the Superintendent.
D. 
The Department shall not be responsible for collecting any waste materials that have been placed or prepared in a manner that fails to comply with the provisions of this article. In particular, the Department shall not be responsible for collecting bulk items or waste materials in which recyclable materials are mixed together with other materials or in which recyclable materials have not been placed or prepared in accord with this article.
E. 
The Department shall not collect hazardous wastes.
[Amended 4-2-2002 by L.L. No. 1-2002]

§ 241-3 Depositing materials for collection.

A. 
No waste materials or refuse shall be placed at or near any curb, sidewalk or street for purposes of collection by the Department other than on particular days or during the particular time periods as prescribed by the Superintendent or by this article.
B. 
No person shall place any rubbish or recyclable near any curb, sidewalk or street for purposes of collection by the Department unless that person complies with the following requirements:
(1) 
Commencing June 1, 1992, all nonrecyclable items and/or acceptable trash to be collected by the City or the City's designated agent shall be placed in a transparent plastic bag prescribed by the Common Council. Said plastic bags may be placed in a plastic or metal container. The Department of Administration and Finance shall maintain a separate accounting of the following:
(a) 
All moneys received or due from the sale of City of Cortland (logo) bags.
(b) 
All moneys received or due from the imposition of a user fee as described in § 241-4 herein.
(c) 
All expenditures or expenses payable for garbage collection, recycling, tipping fees and any such other expenses and costs, both administrative and operational, as the Common Council may determine relates to the collection and disposal of solid waste.
(2) 
All mandatory recyclable material that is designated for curbside pickup shall be placed in an appropriate container as prescribed by the Common Council.
(3) 
All recyclable material that is designated for curbside pickup shall be placed at the curb for collection at times prescribed by the Superintendent.
C. 
No person shall place brush/rubble at or near any curb, sidewalk or street for purposes of collection by the Department other than as prescribed by the Common Council.
(1) 
During any Citywide spring and fall pickup of leaves and brush, the raking of leaves to the property owner's curbside will be permitted.
(2) 
Brush other than yard waste shall be securely tied in bundles, with no individual bundle exceeding 48 inches in length or 50 pounds in weight. No person shall put out more than two such bundles of brush for any one collection by the Department.
(3) 
Yard waste will be collected at the discretion of and in a manner prescribed by the Superintendent.
(4) 
Rubble will be collected at the discretion of and in a manner prescribed by the Superintendent.
D. 
When the Superintendent has prescribed that waste materials be collected on particular days or during particular periods, any person placing such waste materials at or near any curb, sidewalk or street for purposes of collection by the Department shall comply with the following requirements:
(1) 
The waste material shall be of the type announced by the Superintendent.
(2) 
The waste material shall be placed for collection at the times specified by the Superintendent.
(3) 
The waste material shall be collected, bound, contained, placed or otherwise treated in the manner specified by the Superintendent and by this article.
E. 
All refuse and waste materials that are to be collected by the Department shall be placed for collection at or near a curb, sidewalk or street after 5:00 p.m. on the day prior to the day designated for collection and before 7:00 a.m. on the day designated for collection.
[Amended 4-2-2002 by L.L. No. 1-2002]
F. 
No person shall place any refuse or waste material at or near any curb, sidewalk or street other than the curb, sidewalk or street immediately in front of the property from which such waste material was generated.

§ 241-4 Classification system.

A. 
Classification of property. The City of Cortland tax rolls classify properties pursuant to the Property Type Classification and Ownership Code published by the New York State Board of Real Property Services. Properties classified under said system as Single-Family Residences (Type 210) and Religious (Type 620) shall be deemed a one-unit property for purposes of this article. Properties classified as Two-Family Residences (Type 220) shall be deemed a two-unit property for purposes of this article. Properties classified as Three-Family Residences (Type 230) shall be deemed a three-unit property for purposes of this article. For properties classified as Type 280 (multiple residences), Type 411 (apartments), Type 480 (multiple use), Type 481 (row-type downtown - attached), Type 482 (row-type downtown - detached) and Type 483 (converted residences), a determination shall be made as to the actual number of units on each parcel. Properties classified as Type 414 (hotel), Type 415 (motel) and Type 418 (inns, lodges, fraternity, sorority) shall be deemed as six-unit properties for purposes of this article. All other properties not specifically classified above, with the exception of Type 105, 116, 311, 312, 313, 314, 322, 330 and 340 properties, shall be deemed to be a two-unit property.
[Amended 4-2-2002 by L.L. No. 1-2002]
B. 
Charges.
(1) 
In addition to the revenue received for the sale of plastic bags, a user fee shall be billed to each property owner annually.
(2) 
The user fee shall be billed on a per-unit basis. The total number of units shall be determined as follows:
(a) 
The number of Type 210 and Type 620 properties shall be multiplied by a multiple of one.
(b) 
The number of Type 220 properties shall be multiplied by a multiple of two.
(c) 
The number of Type 230 properties shall be multiplied by a multiple of three.
(d) 
Properties classified as Type 280, 411, 480, 481, 482 and 483 shall be multiplied by the actual number of units on the premises.
(e) 
All other classified properties, excluding Type 105, 116, 311, 312, 313, 314, 322, 330 and 340, shall be multiplied by a multiple of two.
(f) 
The sum total of the above-stated multiples shall be the total number of units for purposes of calculating the user fee. Said sum shall not include those properties that are not a user of the City of Cortland's solid waste programs, as that term is defined in § 241-1 above.
(3) 
Determination of deficit.
(a) 
On or before March 1 of each year, the Director of Administration and Finance shall determine if the garbage collection system ended the previous year with a deficit. A deficit occurs when the total operating expenses exceed the total revenue from bag sales. In order to calculate the net deficit, any deficit from the prior year billing is to be added to the current deficit or any surplus from the prior year billing is to be subtracted from the current deficit. (Deficits or surpluses may occur in the unit fee billing due to fluctuations in the number of users participating in the program.)
Determination of Deficit
Total Net Operating Expenses
Less Revenue from Sale of Bags
=
Operating Deficit (if positive number)
Plus Deficit from Prior Year User Fee Billing (if any)
-OR-
Less Surplus from Prior Year User Fee (Billing) (if any)
Equals NET DEFICIT.
The User Fee Per Unit shall be calculated as follows:
NET DEFICIT        
Total Number of Units
=
User Fee Per Unit
(b) 
As soon as practicable after determining such fee, the Director of Administration and Finance shall notify the Common Council. The Common Council shall give notice thereof in the official newspaper of the City and further notice of at least 10 days that a public hearing will be held before the Common Council at its next regular meeting to consider approval of such rate.
(4) 
Any user aggrieved by the user charge shall present his grievance to a Grievance Board of three persons appointed by the Mayor with the approval of the Common Council. Such Board shall have the power to review such grievance and to affirm or modify the user charge. If the charge is modified, the Board shall state its reasons, in writing, and shall order that a refund be paid to the grievant. Any grievant dissatisfied with the Board's decision may appeal to the Common Council, which shall promptly act thereon. The members of the Grievance Board shall be appointed to three-year terms.
(5) 
Notwithstanding the foregoing, the user charge to be billed in 1994, which shall be applied to the 1993 deficit, shall be $25 per unit. Thereafter, the user fee shall be determined as provided herein.
(6) 
In no event shall the user charge exceed $35 per unit.
(7) 
Notwithstanding the foregoing, the user charge as calculated in Subsection B(3) above shall be rounded to the next higher even dollar, but shall not exceed $35.
C. 
Payments of user fee.
(1) 
A bill for each user fee shall be mailed no later than July 1 of each year. Payments of such bills shall be due 30 days after the date of such billing and shall be payable at the City Finance Office in City Hall. Failure to timely mail such bill or failure of any user to receive such billing shall not be an excuse for nonpayment.
(2) 
A bill for each user fee charge for 1994 shall be mailed no later than October 1, 1994, and payment of such bill at the City Finance Office in City Hall shall be made no later than 30 days thereafter. Failure to timely mail such bill or failure by any user to receive such bill shall not be an excuse for nonpayment.
D. 
Penalty for late payment. A penalty of $5 per unit shall be assessed for payments made after the date due but within the same year in which the payment was initially due. In the event that payment is made in the year subsequent to the year the payment was initially due, an additional penalty of $2 per unit shall be assessed for a total penalty of $7 per unit.

§ 241-5 Empty refuse and waste containers.

All empty refuse containers and empty waste material containers shall be removed from the curb, sidewalk or street where they have been placed as soon as possible after collection by the Department and, in any event, on the same day as collection. Empty refuse containers or other empty waste containers remaining at or near the curb, sidewalk or street 24 hours after collection may be picked up and disposed of by the Department.

§ 241-6 Uncollected refuse and waste material.

Where the Department has not collected certain refuse and/or waste material because said materials were not placed or prepared in accord with the provisions of this article, the person responsible for putting said refuse or waste materials at or near a curb, sidewalk or street for collection by the Department shall remove said refuse or wastes from said location as soon as possible after the Department has refused collection and, in any event, by the end of the designated collection day.

§ 241-7 Noncompliance.

A. 
Whenever a person places refuse or other waste material at or near a curb, sidewalk or street for collection by the City without complying with the provisions of this article or fails to comply with rules and regulations prescribed by the Common Council, the Department may do either of the following:
(1) 
Correct the error in preparation and place said refuse or waste materials in a non-public-health threatening storage area and place at the curb on the next regularly scheduled trash pickup date.
(2) 
Correct the error in preparation and contact the City hauler who shall, for an additional cost, pick up correctly prepared trash and recyclables before the next regularly scheduled pickup.
(3) 
Correct the error in preparation and transport said recyclables to the county materials recovery facility and trash to the county landfill.
B. 
If an owner or identifiable occupant fails to remove refuse or waste materials from the curbside by the end of the collection day, the Department shall effectuate the collection of said refuse and/or waste material and shall charge said owner or identifiable occupant with a service charge as fixed by the Common Council. The Department shall provide written notice of said special service charge to the identifiable occupant or property owner as soon as feasible after the Department's collection of said waste in question.
C. 
Whenever refuse or other waste material has been placed for collection by the Department or its agent after 7:00 a.m. on the day of collection, the Department or its agent may, in its own discretion, determine to respond positively or negatively to a request by the property owner of the property from which such waste was generated that the Department return to such property and collect that waste material. When the Department agrees to return to the property and collect that waste material, it shall assess a special service charge against that identifiable occupant and/or property owner as prescribed by the Common Council.
D. 
For any nonscheduled collection of waste material by the City, the City shall assess a special service charge against the responsible identifiable occupant and/or property owner. Such special collection charge shall be in accord with the provisions of this article.

§ 241-8 Ownership of recyclable materials placed for collection.

When the recyclable materials are picked up by the Department, these shall become the property of the City of Cortland. No person who is not acting under authority of the City or its authorized agent shall collect, pick up, remove or cause to be collected, picked up or removed any recyclable materials so placed for collection; each such unauthorized collection, pickup or removal shall constitute a separate violation of this article; provided, however, that where the Department has refused to collect certain recyclable materials because they have not been placed or treated in accord with the provisions of this article, the person responsible for initially placing those materials for collection may and shall remove those materials from any curb, sidewalk or streetside in accord with the provisions of this article.

§ 241-9 Private waste haulers.

Nothing in this article shall be deemed to prevent any person from entering into a contractual agreement with a private waste hauler for the removal of refuse and other waste materials generated by that person or by property owned by that person.

§ 241-10 Containers for recyclable materials.

The Common Council is authorized to establish an appropriate mechanism for selling or facilitating the sale of waste containers for recyclable materials that meet the requirements of this article.

§ 241-11 Illegal dumping.

The disposal of refuse or waste materials on the real property of another in a manner other than as permitted by this article shall constitute illegal dumping.

§ 241-12 Enforcement; penalties for offenses.

A. 
Any person violating the provisions of this article, other than § 241-11, shall be subject to the following administrative fees:
(1) 
Warning for first offense, plus cost to have removed.
(2) 
$25 fine for second offense, plus removal costs.
(3) 
$50 fine for third and each subsequent offense, plus removal costs.
B. 
Any person violating the provisions of § 241-11 of this article shall be subject to the following fines and administrative fees:
(1) 
$250 fine for first offense, plus removal costs.
(2) 
$300 for second offense, plus removal costs.
(3) 
$500 fine for third and each subsequent offense, plus removal costs.
C. 
The provisions of this article are severable. If any provision of this article or its application to any person or circumstance is held invalid, said invalidity shall not affect any other provision or application of this article which can be given effect without the invalid provision or application of the law.
D. 
All provisions of any other local law or ordinance which are inconsistent with the provisions of this article are hereby repealed.

§ 241-13 Regulations.

The Board shall have authority to adopt whatever regulations are consistent with this article and to continue to enforce any existing regulations that are consistent with this article.
[Adopted 3-25-1991 (Ch. 71/2, Art. III of the 1969 Code of Ordinances)]

§ 241-14 Intention to include in Code.

It is the intention of the Common Council and it is hereby ordained that the provisions of this ordinance shall become and be made part of the Code of the City of Cortland, New York.

§ 241-15 Proper containers to be used.

A. 
All trash, rubbish, garbage and any other nonrecyclables placed at the curbside of a City street or at any other designated location that is to be collected by the City or by the City's designated agent, shall be placed in a clear plastic bag that will allow visual inspection.
B. 
All recyclable items and materials shall be placed at the curbside of a City street or at any other designated location in an appropriate container approved by the Common Council.

§ 241-16 Preparation of recyclables.

Recyclable materials shall be prepared in a manner prescribed by the Common Council.

§ 241-17 Improperly prepared materials.

A. 
All trash, rubbish, garbage and recyclables not placed in the type of container or bag prescribed by this article or as otherwise prescribed by the Common Council will not be collected by the City or by its designated agent.
B. 
All recyclables not prepared in a manner prescribed by the Common Council will be refused by the City collectors.
C. 
Containers or bags not collected by the City or its designated agent must be removed from the curbside by the property owner or occupant within 48 hours of said rejection by the City or its designated agent.

§ 241-18 Penalties for offenses.

Any identifiable occupant and/or owners violating any provision of this article shall be fined as follows: the cost of having their rejected containers or bags removed by the City for a first offense; the sum of $25, plus the cost of removal for a second offense; the sum of $50, plus the cost of removal for a third offense or subsequent offense of this article.

§ 241-19 Grass clippings, tree limbs and yard wastes.

The disposal of grass clippings, tree limbs and yard waste is not governed by this article and will not be collected by the City as part of its regularly scheduled garbage and recycling collection program but shall be collected or disposed of in a manner otherwise directed by the Common Council.