City of Northampton, MA
Hampshire County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the City Council of the City of Northampton as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
General penalty — See Ch. 1, § 1-17.
Enforcement — See Ch. 40.
[Adopted as Ch. 12 of the 1977 Code]

§ 272-1 Definitions.

[Amended 1-21-1982; 3-5-1987; 7-20-1989; 11-19-1998; 3-4-1999; 12-4-2003]
As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
BRUSH
Refers to woody debris from trees, shrubs, and bushes less than six inches in diameter.
BULKY WASTE MATERIAL
Includes but is not limited to refrigerators, stoves, and other large appliances, furniture, mattresses, tires, rolls of carpeting, refuse in sealed bags or containers and other large waste items which must be securely held in place in the vehicle by sturdy ropes, cords or materials so that the solid waste cannot fall, bounce or blow out of the vehicle on to the roadway.
[Amended 12-4-2014]
CATHODE RAY TUBE (CRT)
An intact glass tube used to provide the visual display in televisions including monochrome (i.e., black and white) units, computer monitors and certain scientific instruments such as oscilloscopes.
CLEAN WOOD WASTE
Refers to wood that is not painted, stained, treated or made of composite materials, and that is as free from foreign materials as possible.
COMMERCIAL VEHICLE
Refers to vehicles used by commercial concerns whose primary business is other than the collection, transport, and disposal of garbage, rubbish and industrial waste, and/or any vehicle with commercial plates.
COMPACTED REFUSE
Refers to garbage and rubbish compressed by hydraulic force into refuse removal trucks and/or containers.
CONSTRUCTION AND DEMOLITION (C&D) WASTE
Building or demolition materials with a maximum size of four feet in any dimension, including but not limited to wood, roofing materials, gypsum (wallboard), flooring materials, carpeting, insulation, fixtures, and pieces of duct and pipes. Cardboard and scrap metal are not included in this category, as these materials are classified as "recyclable materials."
[Amended 12-4-2014]
GARBAGE
Refers to all waste, animal, fish, fowl, fruit or vegetable matter produced or resulting from the use or storage of food for human consumption.
HAZARDOUS WASTE
Refers to by-products of society that can pose a substantial or potential hazard to human health or the environment when improperly managed. Hazardous waste possesses at least one of four characteristics (ignitability, corrosivity, reactivity, or toxicity) or appears on special EPA lists.
LOOSE SOLID WASTE
Refers to quantities of waste material including but not limited to brush, leaves, paper, roof shingles, recyclable materials and other items placed in the rear of a vehicle and which must be completely enclosed by the sides of the vehicle and a tarp or other covering which securely holds the waste material in place and prevents it from falling, bouncing, or blowing from the vehicle onto the roadway.[1]
[Amended 12-4-2014]
PRIVATE CARS
Refers to cars, passenger vans, and station wagons (based on the classification listed on the vehicle registration form) used exclusively by private households for noncommercial purposes.
PRIVATE TRUCKS
Refers to trucks, vans, and trailers (based on the classification listed on the vehicle registration form) used exclusively by private households for noncommercial purposes.
PRIVATE VEHICLE
Refers to autos, vans, and pickup trucks used exclusively by private households for noncommercial purposes.
PROPERLY SECURED LOAD
Refers to all solid waste materials including "solid waste," "loose solid waste" and "bulky waste material" being transported to a solid waste disposal facility; loose solid waste material shall be in closed vehicles, closed containers, sealed plastic bags, or completely covered with a tarp or other covering, which encloses it entirely. Bulky solid waste shall be tied with sturdy ropes or other materials so that it is securely held in place. All solid waste material must be securely tied down or covered so that neither it nor any of its parts can fall out of or blow out of the vehicle transporting it onto the roadway or properties adjacent to the roadway.
[Amended 12-4-2014]
RECYCLABLE MATERIALS
Refers to materials that are accepted at the Springfield Materials Recycling Facility (SMRF) and/or materials that are subject to a ban on landfill disposal imposed by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection and/or the Northampton Board of Health. Materials currently accepted by the SMRF include recyclable paper and corrugated cardboard, and metal/glass/aseptic/plastic (#1-7) containers. Materials currently restricted by the DEP under 310 CMR 19.017 include glass and metal containers, single-resin plastics, recyclable paper and corrugated cardboard, leaves and yard waste, vehicle batteries, white goods/appliances, whole tires, cathode ray tubes. In addition, materials currently restricted by the Northampton Board of Health include scrap metal and mattresses.
[Amended 12-4-2014]
REFUSE
Refers to putrescible or nonputrescible solid waste materials, consisting of all combustible and noncombustible solid wastes including garbage and rubbish, but not including recyclable materials and unacceptable materials.
REFUSE REMOVAL TRUCK
Refers to trucks used by commercial concerns whose primary business is the collection, transport and disposal of garbage, rubbish and industrial waste.
RUBBISH
Refers to domestic solid, combustible and incombustible wastes other than garbage, including commercial refuse.
SOLID WASTE
Refers to all materials being transported to a solid waste disposal facility for disposal and/or recycling, including but not limited to the following: brush, construction and demolition material, garbage, household refuse, recyclable material, rubbish, scrap metal, tires, used appliances, used furniture, and yard waste.[2]
[Amended 12-4-2014]
TREE WASTE
Refers to stumps, trunks, logs, and/or branches with a diameter of six inches or greater.
UNACCEPTABLE MATERIALS
Refers to automobiles or automobile parts, waste oils (e.g., used motor oil, bunker oil), bottom ash, chemicals, intact drums, fly ash, hazardous wastes, hot items, radioactive wastes, sludge, recyclable materials, universal wastes and liquid or gaseous wastes of any type except with special written approval of the State Department of Environmental Protection and the Board of Health.
UNIVERSAL WASTE
Refers to hazardous batteries, primarily nickel cadmium (NiCd) and button batteries; mercury-containing devices, such as thermostats, manometers, switches, water meters, thermometers, and gauges; mercury-containing lamps, such as fluorescent lamps; and hazardous waste pesticides, e.g., mercury-based pesticides, arsenicals, and chlorinated pesticides; banned or suspended pesticides; pesticides subject to recall by the manufacturer or FIFRA; certain unused pesticides, and/or pesticides collected in a state-approved waste pesticide collection program.
YARD WASTES
Refers to grass clippings, leaves, brush, and other plant material generated through landscape/garden maintenance (does not include tree waste).
[1]
Editor's Note: The definition of "precompacted refuse," which immediately followed this definition, was repealed 12-4-2014.
[2]
Editor's Note: The definition of "special wastes (with prior approval, notifications, and/or permits), which immediately followed this definition, was repealed 12-4-2014.

§ 272-2 Placing certain articles in streets prohibited.

[Amended 12-4-2014]
No person shall deposit in any street, except as herein otherwise provided, any dead shrub or tree, trimming of shrubs or trees, posts, pole or other article, earth from cellars or any rubbish, unless the same shall be immediately removed therefrom at the expense of the owner or other person making such deposit, except at such times as the Department of Public Works may request that any or all of the aforementioned articles be so deposited for removal by it as a part of the regular rubbish removal programs.

§ 272-3 Littering prohibited; exception.

[Amended 8-20-1987; 2-1-2007; 12-4-2014]
No person shall put or place or cause to be put or placed in any street, lane, common, park, court, alley or other public place or on any private property in this City any dirt, filth, ashes, garbage, litter or rubbish of any description; or throw or distribute, or cause to be thrown or distributed therein, any playbill, poster, notice, advertisement or printed paper of any description or any advertising appliance or medium, excepting newspapers distributed to purchasers, except at such times as the Department of Public Works may request that any or all of the aforementioned articles be so deposited for removal by it as a part of its regular rubbish removal program. Violation of this section shall be punishable as set forth in Chapter 40, Enforcement.

§ 272-4 Requirements for storage and wrapping; location of containers.

[Amended 12-18-2003]
All garbage and rubbish shall be stored in sturdy tightly covered containers or secured in heavy-duty plastic or paper bags. Containers shall be stored in a clean location, free of spilled garbage or rubbish and odor, and shall not be placed upon any street except as provided in this article.

§ 272-5 Authority of Board of Health.

The Board of Health of the City is hereby authorized and empowered to regulate the storage, collection, transportation and disposal of garbage and rubbish as provided in Chapter 111, §§  31, 31A and 31B of the General Laws of Massachusetts.

§ 272-6 Commercial and residential disposal permits and fees.

[Amended 7-19-1979; 6-18-1981; 8-20-1981; 6-19-1986; 8-20-1987; 9-3-1987; 6-16-1988; 7-5-1990; 12-1-1994; 8-21-1997; 3-4-1999; 12-4-2003; 12-4-2014]
A. 
No person shall remove or transport garbage/rubbish within the City without first obtaining a permit from the Department of Public Works, as authorized by the Board of Health and provided herein pursuant to § 31A of Chapter 111 of the General Laws of Massachusetts. Residential garbage/rubbish transported by the owner is exempt.
B. 
No person shall dispose of recyclable materials as solid waste. Recyclable materials include, but are not limited to, any materials acceptable to the Springfield Materials Recycling Facility (MRF) and/or materials banned from disposal by the Northampton Board of Health and/or the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection.
C. 
The Board of Health authorizes the Department of Public Works to issue annual permits to City residents to transport refuse, garbage, recyclables, yard waste, and rubbish from their own residential property in private cars, private trucks or private vehicles, provided that certification is made that such permits will be used only for personal household use. Annual permits shall be in the form of sticker attached to each vehicle as per § 272-13B.
D. 
Only operators of vehicles displaying a current residential permit sticker will be allowed to dispose of solid waste or recyclables at a City residential transfer station(s).

§ 272-7 (Reserved) [1]

[1]
Editor's Note: Former § 272-7, Commercial vehicle permits and disposal fees, as amended, was repealed 12-4-2014.

§ 272-8 Transporting refuse, garbage and rubbish; fines for improperly secured loads.

[Amended 12-17-1970; 11-19-1998; 12-4-2003; 2-1-2007; 12-4-2014]
A. 
All solid wastes, including but not limited to bulky waste materials and loose solid waste, which are collected and/or transported within the City of Northampton shall be so collected and transported in a manner which will prevent such solid, bulky and loose solid waste from falling or blowing onto the roadway, or onto property near or adjacent to the roadway, while transporting such waste within the City limits.
B. 
Solid wastes shall only be collected and transported in vehicles in good repair with watertight and/or tightly covered receptacles. The vehicles and receptacles shall be kept in clean condition satisfactory to the Board of Health, and shall be cleaned at a site approved by the Board of Health. All such receptacles shall be kept covered except at such times as the combined refuse is being placed therein or removed therefrom.
C. 
All solid waste being transported to a solid waste disposal facility shall be in properly secured loads.
D. 
Operators of private vehicles transporting improperly secured solid waste shall be subject to an improperly secured load fine as set forth in Chapter 40, Enforcement, for each of the first five offenses, in addition to other applicable refuse disposal charges. For each subsequent offense, the improperly secured load fine shall be as set forth in Chapter 40.
(1) 
The Board of Health and/or the Department of Public Works acting through its agents and employees shall have the authority to withhold a residential permit from any residential user who has outstanding improperly secured load fines due to the City.
(2) 
If the holder of a residential permit shall have no offenses for a period of two years, the holder's record of previous offenses shall be expunged, provided that there are no outstanding improperly secured load fines due to the City.
E. 
Operators of commercial vehicles transporting improperly secured solid waste shall be subject to the improperly secured load fines as set forth in Chapter 40, Enforcement.
(1) 
For a fourth offense, the Board of Health and/or the Department of Public Works shall have the right (after providing an opportunity for hearing) to suspend the commercial entity's refuse disposal permit for up to one month and to charge a fine of up to $1,000 in costs to reimburse the City for the costs of the hearing including staff time and also to cover any and all staff time necessary to clean up the refuse which may have fallen or blown unto the roadway or property adjacent to the roadway.
(2) 
The Board of Health and/or the Department of Public Works acting through its agents and employees shall have the authority to withhold a commercial permit from any commercial user who has outstanding improperly secured load fines due to the City.
F. 
The operator of any vehicle transporting improperly secured solid waste who refuses to pay the improperly secured load fine and/or who exits the disposal facility with improperly secured refuse shall be subject to an additional fine equal to the original fine imposed.

§ 272-9 Collection practices and rules.

Collection shall be made in a manner that will prevent garbage or rubbish from falling from the container to the ground and so as to prevent rubbish being blown by the wind. Collections shall be made from an off-street location except for curbside collections from single-family and two-family homes, where containers may be placed near a street after 6:00 p.m. on the day before a curbside collection is to be made, provided that the containers are removed by 6:00 p.m. on the day of collection.

§ 272-10 Deposits other than in authorized locations prohibited.

[Amended 12-4-2014]
It shall be unlawful for any person to deposit, place or dispose of garbage or rubbish in any place except a site assigned for that purpose by the Board of Health as provided in MGL c. 111, § 150A.

§ 272-11 (Reserved) [1]

[1]
Editor's Note: Former § 272-11, Permit for disposal of demolition materials, as amended, was repealed 12-4-2014.

§ 272-12 Garbage disposals required in certain dwelling units.

[Amended 12-17-1970; 3-20-1986; 3-19-1992]
The builder of each new dwelling unit shall cause a garbage disposer to be installed prior to the final building inspection. Provisions shall be made for connection to a sanitary sewer line or to a septic tank in conformance with the State Environmental Code, 310 CMR 15.00 Title 5. This requirement shall be optional in dwellings not served by sanitary sewer and single-family dwellings.

§ 272-13 Municipal transfer stations; disposal fee.

[Amended 6-18-1981; 8-20-1981; 8-20-1987; 6-16-1988; 6-21-1990; 12-4-2003; 12-4-2014]
A. 
Municipal transfer station(s) established within the City shall be for the sole use of residents of the City, and only residential refuse and rubbish shall be deposited in the compactor unit.
B. 
The Department of Public Works shall issue permits in the form of stickers to be attached to each vehicle. Said permit shall allow use of a municipal solid waste disposal facility.
C. 
Any person using the compactor unit in violation of these provisions shall be subject to the penalties set forth in § 272-14 of this chapter.

§ 272-14 Violations and penalties.

[Amended 2-1-2007]
Any person violating any of the provisions of this chapter or refusing to comply with any of the provisions therein contained, shall upon conviction be fined in any sum of not more than $1,000. Each day's continuance of such violation or failure shall be deemed a separate and distinct offense. Any person violating such provisions shall be liable for cost incurred by the City to correct any violation.

§ 272-15 Mandatory recycling.

[Added 2-4-1988; amended 4-5-1990; 12-4-2003; 12-4-2014]
A. 
There is hereby established in the City of Northampton a program for the mandatory separation of recyclable materials from garbage or rubbish by anyone who lives or works in Northampton, including residents (including but not limited to inhabitants of single-family units, multifamily units, condominiums, boardinghouses, schools, assisted living facilities, etc.), businesses (including but limited to offices and retail establishments), institutions and industries located in the City of Northampton.
B. 
Enforcement of this section shall be by either criminal complaint in the District Court or noncriminal procedures as set forth in Chapter 40 of this Code of Ordinances. The maximum fine for violation of this section shall be $300.

§ 272-16 (Reserved) [1]

[1]
Editor's Note: Former § 272-16, Disposal of refuse at landfill; unacceptable garbage and trash, added 6-20-1991 and amended 1-6-1994, was repealed 12-4-2014.

§ 272-17 Unlawful use of recycling and trash disposal containers.

[Added 12-5-2002; amended 2-1-2007]
A. 
No person shall use public recycling and trash disposal receptacles for the disposal of household refuse. Employees of business enterprises or other privately owned establishments are prohibited from disposing of business refuse in public recycling and trash receptacles. Depositing waste into and/or scavenging materials out of a commercial or municipal dumpster or trash or recycling container without the consent of the owner or a person with legal authority is prohibited. Violators of this section shall be subject to fines, which shall be in addition to all other applicable disposal and cleanup charges, as set forth in Chapter 40, Enforcement.
B. 
Enforcement of this section shall be by noncriminal procedures as set forth in Chapter 40 of this Code of Ordinances.
[Adopted 12-4-2003 (Ch. 22, Art. III, of the 1977 Code)]

§ 272-18 Environmental protection and solid waste reduction. [1]

[Added 5-21-2015]
A. 
General definitions. As used in this section, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
ASTM
A testing standard developed by the American Society for Testing and Materials.
BIODEGRADABLE PACKAGING
Packaging other than plastic or styrofoam which composts into beneficial breakdown components.
COMPOSTABLE PACKAGING
Packing that is made of material that conforms to the current American Society for Testing and Materials International D6400 for compostability.
MERCHANDISE
Products that are purchased in the retail stores.
RECYCLABLE
Material that can be sorted, cleansed, and reconstituted using available recycling collection programs for the purpose of using the altered form in the manufacture of a new product. "Recycling" does not include burning, incinerating, converting, or otherwise thermally destroying solid waste.
RETAIL ESTABLISHMENT
All sales outlets, stores, shops, pharmacies or other places of business located within the City of Northampton which sell or convey merchandise directly to the ultimate consumer.
RETAIL FOOD ESTABLISHMENT
All sales outlets, stores, shops, restaurants, markets, supermarkets, clubs or other places of business which sell, serve or convey foods directly to the ultimate consumer. This definition shall include but is not limited to any place where food is prepared, mixed, cooked, baked, smoked, preserved, bottled, packaged, handled, stored, manufactured, sold or offered to the public; similar places in which food or drink is prepared for sale or service on the premises or elsewhere; and any other establishment or operation, including in-home caterers, where food is processed, prepared, stored, served or provided for the public, regardless of whether there is a charge for the food.
RETAIL SERVICE ESTABLISHMENTS
All places of business located within the City of Northampton where a service, specialized or professional work is offered to the public, regardless of whether there is a charge for the service.
B. 
Shopping bag definitions. As used in this section, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
BIODEGRADABLE BAGS
Bags that:
(1) 
Contain no polymers derived from fossil fuels; and
(2) 
Are intended for single use and will decompose in a natural setting to an environmentally beneficial material at a rate comparable to other biodegradable materials such as paper, leaves, and food waste.
COMPOSTABLE PLASTIC BAGS
Plastic bags that:
(1) 
Conform to the current American Society for Testing and Materials International D6400 for compostability;
(2) 
Are certified and labeled as meeting the ASTM D6400 standard specification by a recognized verification entity; and
(3) 
Conform to any other standards deemed acceptable by this section.
REUSABLE BAGS
Bags that have a thickness greater than 3.0 mils and are specifically designed for multiple use and are made of thick recyclable plastic, cloth, fabric or other durable materials that do not decompose into harmful chemical components. A reusable bag may be recyclable or compostable and is specifically designed and manufactured for multiple reuse.
THIN-FILM SINGLE-USE PLASTIC BAGS
Bags with a thickness of 3.0 mils or less and which are intended for single-use transport of purchased products.
C. 
General prohibition and regulation. No retail establishment, retail food establishment, or retail service establishment as defined in Subsection A, shall sell or convey merchandise to ultimate consumers in thin-film single-use plastic bags, and said establishments shall only use such bags that are:
(1) 
Reusable bags; or
(2) 
Biodegradable bags: or
(3) 
Compostable plastic bags.
D. 
Exemptions. Subsection C of this regulation shall not apply to the following items:
(1) 
Thin-film plastic bags used to contain dry cleaning, newspapers, produce, meat, bulk foods, wet items and other similar merchandise, typically without handles;
(2) 
Any flexible transparent covering for uncooked or raw meat, poultry, raw fish, hard cheese, cold cuts, fruit, and vegetable products, baked goods, or bread;
(3) 
Thin-film single-use plastic bags under three mils purchased prior to April 1, 2015, and used before July 1, 2018.
E. 
Penalties and enforcement.
(1) 
If it is determined that a violation of any subsection of this section has occurred, the Mayor's designee shall issue a warning notice for the initial violation.
(2) 
If an additional violation of this section has occurred within one year after a warning notice has been issued for an initial violation, the Mayor's designee shall issue a notice of violation and shall impose a penalty against the retail establishment.
(3) 
The penalty for each violation that occurs after the issuance of the warning notice shall be no more than: 1) $50 for the first offense; 2) $100 for the second offense and all subsequent offenses. Payment shall be made within 21 days to the City Clerk. Nonpayment of such fines may be enforced through civil action in the Northampton District Court. No more than one penalty shall be imposed upon a retail establishment within a seven-calendar-day period.
F. 
Date of effect. This section will take effect on January 1, 2016.
G. 
Hardship deferments.
(1) 
Upon written application, the Mayor's designee may defer application of any subsection of this section for a six-month period after the effective date stated in Subsection F upon a showing of hardship. Hardship will be found when:
(a) 
Compliance with any subsection of this section would cause significant economic difficulty;
(b) 
There is no readily available compliant substitute.
(2) 
Any entity granted a deferment by the Mayor's designee must reapply prior to the end of the six-month exemption period and demonstrate continued undue hardship if it wishes to have the deferment extended. Deferments may only be granted for intervals not to exceed six months.
(3) 
A deferment granted in accordance with this subsection may be extended for no more than two additional six-month periods, upon written application to the Mayor's designee at least two months prior to the expiration of the prior deferment period and upon a showing that the circumstances justifying the deferment continue to exist.
(4) 
A deferment application shall include all information necessary for the Mayor's designee to make its decision, including, but not limited to, documentation showing the factual support for the claimed deferment. The Mayor's designee may require the applicant to provide additional information to permit it to determine facts regarding the deferment application.
(5) 
The Mayor's designee may approve the deferment application, in whole or in part, with or without conditions that it deems necessary to protect the environment and public health and further the interests of this section.
(6) 
Deferment decisions are effective immediately and final.
[1]
Editor's Note: Former § 272-18, Available surplus account, was repealed 12-4-2014.

§ 272-19 Permits.

[Amended 12-4-2014]
A. 
Every person, corporation, or entity who disposes of solid waste and/or recyclable materials at the landfill and/or transfer station(s) of the City of Northampton shall be charged for an annual permit at a rate(s) set by the Department of Public Works.
B. 
The Department of Public Works shall make such rules and regulations concerning permit fees, starting and closing date(s) and exemptions for refuse collection vehicles, commercial vehicles, and private vehicles, as it deems appropriate.

§ 272-20 User fees.

[Amended 12-4-2014]
Every person who disposes of solid waste and/or recyclable materials at the landfill and/or transfer station(s) of the City of Northampton shall be charged for such usage at the rate(s) set by the Department of Public Works.

§ 272-21 Billing procedures.

[Amended 12-4-2014]
A. 
For customers on a monthly billing system, disposal and permit fees shall be collected by separate billings sent out by the Department of Public Works.
B. 
The Department of Public Works shall make such rules and regulations concerning contract rates, billing dates, discounts, exemptions, surcharges, interest on overdue accounts, late fees and penalties as it deems appropriate.
C. 
If a bill for usage of integrated solid waste management facilities is not paid in full by the 30th day from the date the bill is mailed, an interest penalty of 14% per annum shall be assessed on any unpaid balance. Interest shall accrue from the date of mailing of the bill.
D. 
At any time after interest begins to accrue on an unpaid account, the Collector may serve on the party assessed a statement of the amount due, including interest, with a demand for payment. A charge of $5 shall be made for such demand. If the amount due remains unpaid 14 days after mailing of said demand, the Collector shall commit the amount to the Board of Assessors for inclusion on the next annual property tax bill.
E. 
The Department of Public Works may, at its discretion, refuse to allow any hauler with an unpaid account which has begun to accrue interest to dispose of solid waste, recyclable materials, or daily cover materials at the integrated solid waste management facility or may require such hauler to pay immediately at the time of disposal. The Department of Public Works or other appropriate City official may take any other appropriate action permitted by local ordinance or state statute in connection with an unpaid, overdue account.

§ 272-22 Separate nature of charges and fees.

These fees relate solely to the matters covered by this article and are separate from all other fees chargeable by the City.