[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Committee of the Township of Independence 12-28-1989 by Ord. No. 89-29 (Ch. 119 of the 1984 Code). Amendments noted where applicable.]
It is hereby found and determined that by reason of litter and other public health nuisances the condition of certain properties has the effect of creating unsightly and unsafe conditions that will grow and spread and will necessitate in time the expenditure of public funds to eliminate the same. Timely restrictions and regulations as indicated in this chapter will contribute to the maintenance of the neighborhood property values and firmly establish the Township of Independence as a clean community, thereby enhancing the public health, safety and welfare.
The purpose of this chapter is to protect the public health by establishing an Anti-Litter Ordinance as well as to address other conditions viewed as a public nuisance and to proscribe or fix penalties for the violations thereof. This chapter is hereby declared to be remedial and essential for the public interest and is intended to be construed liberally to effectuate the purposes herein stated.
When not inconsistent with the context, words used in the present tense include the future; words used in the plural number include the singular number; and words used in the singular number include the plural number. The word "shall" is always mandatory and not merely directory.
As used in this chapter, the following terms, phrases, words and their derivations shall have the meanings indicated:
- INOPERABLE VEHICLE
- A vehicle which, by virtue of its physical condition, is incapable of being operated or used for the purposes for which it is normally intended. A vehicle which remains unattended for a period of seven consecutive days shall be presumed to be inoperable.
- Garbage, refuse and rubbish, as defined herein, and all other waste material which, if thrown or deposited as herein prohibited, tends to create a danger to the public health, safety and welfare.
- Material or a combination of materials which are no longer of use for the purposes for which it is normally intended.
No person shall throw or deposit litter in or upon any street, sidewalk or other public place or upon any private property within the Township, except in public receptacles or in authorized private receptacles for collection. Persons placing litter in public receptacles or in authorized private receptacles shall do so in such a manner as to prevent it from being carried or deposited by the elements upon any street, sidewalk or other public place or upon private property.
No person while a driver or passenger in a vehicle shall throw or deposit litter upon any street or other public place within the Township or upon private property.
No person shall sweep into or deposit in any gutter, street or other public place within the Township the accumulation of litter from any building or lot or from any public or private sidewalk or driveway. Every owner, lessee, tenant, occupant or person in charge of any building or structure shall keep and cause to be kept the sidewalk and curb abutting said building or structure free from obstruction and nuisances of every kind and to keep said sidewalks, areaways, back yards, courts and alleys free from litter and other offensive material.
No person owning or occupying a place of business shall sweep into or deposit in any gutter, street, catch basin or other public place any accumulation of litter from any public or private sidewalk or driveway, and any person owning or occupying said place of business shall keep the sidewalk in front of the premises free of litter and shall be required to collect and properly deposit all litter and any sweepings into appropriate containers for disposal.
No person shall drive or move any truck or other vehicle within the Township unless such vehicle is so covered, constructed or loaded as to prevent any load, contents or litter from dropping, sifting, leaking, being blown or deposited or otherwise escaping upon any street, alley or other public place, nor shall any person drive or move any vehicle within the Township, the wheels or tires of which carry into or deposit in any street, alley or other public place, mud, dirt, sticky substances, litter or foreign matter of any kind.
No person shall throw or deposit litter in any park within the Township except in public receptacles and in such a manner that the litter will be prevented from being carried or deposited by the elements upon any part of the park or upon any street or other public place. Where public receptacles are not provided, all such litter shall be carried away from the park by the person responsible for its presence and properly disposed of elsewhere as provided herein.
No person shall throw or deposit litter in any fountain, pond, lake, stream or other body of water within the park or elsewhere within the Township.
No person who owns or who is entrusted with the care and maintenance of a construction site shall accumulate or allow to be accumulated debris on or around said construction site or allow the storage of debris in such a manner that it is likely to be removed by natural forces onto adjacent property.
No person shall discard or dump any household or commercial solid waste in any place not specifically designated for the purpose of solid waste storage or disposal.
No person shall store tires in any areas zoned residential except in a fully enclosed structure.
No person shall store in any areas zoned residential any bulky household items, such as appliances, furniture or mattresses, except in a fully enclosed structure with the exception of any days officially designated by the Township for the collection or pickup of said bulky items.
No person shall keep or permit the keeping of any inoperable or unregistered vehicle on any Township street, any vacant lot or residential law, provided that nothing herein shall be deemed to prohibit the placing, keeping or storing of any inoperable vehicle in any garage or other building in the Township or on lands and premises of a licensed new or used automobile dealer or licensed service station operator where a motor vehicle is being or is about to be repaired, nor shall this section be deemed to prohibit farm machinery kept on a farmer's own premises. Nothing herein shall be construed to pertain to junkyards licensed or permitted under the provisions of the Independence Township Zoning Ordinance.
Any person who owns property or any proprietor or individual who sponsors the following events shall be responsible for providing and servicing litter receptacles or containers for the same which shall be required in the following public places within the Township: sidewalks used by pedestrians in active commercially zoned areas, such that at a minimum there shall be no single linear quarter-mile without a receptacle; buildings held out for use by the public, including schools, government buildings and railroad and bus stations; parks; drive-in restaurants; all street vendor locations; self-service refreshment areas; construction sites; gasoline service station islands; shopping centers; parking lots; campgrounds and trailer parks; marinas, boat moorage and fueling stations; boat launching areas, public and private piers operated for public use; beaches and bathing areas; and at special events to which the public is invited, including sporting events, parades, carnivals, circuses and festivals.
Notice to remove. The Board of Health is hereby authorized and empowered to notify the owner of any open or vacant private property within the Township or the agent of such owner to properly dispose of litter located on such owner's property which is dangerous to public health, safety or welfare. Such notice shall be by registered mail, addressed to said owner at his last known address.
Action upon noncompliance. Upon the failure, neglect or refusal of any owner or agent so notified to properly dispose of litter dangerous to the public health, safety or welfare within 10 days after receipt of written notice provided for in Subsection A above or within 15 days after the date of such notice in the event that the same is returned to the post office because of its inability to make delivery thereof, provided that the same was properly addressed to the last known address of such owner or agent, the Board of Health is hereby authorized and empowered to pay for the disposing of such litter or to order its disposal by the Township.
Charge included in tax bill. When the Township has effected the removal of such dangerous litter or has paid for its removal, the actual costs thereof, plus accrued interest at the rate of 6% per annum from the date of the completion of the work, if not paid by such owner prior thereto, shall be charged to the owner of such property on the next regular tax bill forwarded to such owner by the Township. Said charge shall be due and payable by said owner at the time of payment of such bill and shall be collected in the same manner as fixed by law for the collection of taxes.
For violation of any provision of this chapter, the penalty, upon conviction, shall be a minimum fine of $100 and a maximum penalty of one or more of the following: a fine not exceeding $2,000, imprisonment not exceeding 90 days or a period of community service not exceeding 90 days. Except as otherwise provided, each and every day in which a violation of any provision of this chapter exists shall constitute a separate violation.