City of Fitchburg, MA
Worcester County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the City Council of the City of Fitchburg 5-18-1993 by Ord. No. 122-93. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Rubbish removal — See Ch. 111.
Distribution of handbills — See Ch. 132.
Advertisements in public places — See Ch. 132.
Rubbish on land abutting streets — See Ch. 132.
Peddling and soliciting — See Ch. 134.
This chapter shall be known and may be cited at the "City of Fitchburg Antilitter Ordinance."
A. 
For the purposes of this chapter, the following terms, phrases, words and their derivations shall have the meaning given herein. 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.
B. 
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
AIRCRAFT
Any contrivance now known or hereafter invented, used or designated for navigation or for flight in the air. The word "aircraft" shall include helicopters and lighter-than-air dirigibles and balloons.
AUTHORIZED PRIVATE RECEPTACLE
A litter storage and collection receptacle as required and authorized in the State Sanitary Code, 105 CMR § 410.600.
CITY
The City of Fitchburg, County of Worcester, Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
COMMERCIAL HANDBILL
 Any printed or written matter, any sample or device, dodger, circular, leaflet, pamphlet, paper, booklet or any other printed or otherwise reproduced original or copies of any matter of literature which:
(1) 
Advertises for sale any merchandise, product, commodity or thing;
(2) 
Directs attention to any business, mercantile or commercial establishment or other activity for the purpose of, either directly or indirectly, promoting the interest thereof by sales; or
(3) 
Directs attention to or advertises any meeting, theatrical performance, exhibition or event of any kind, when any of the same are held, given or take place in connection with the dissemination of information which is not restricted under the ordinary rules of decency, good morals, public peace, safety and good order; or charitable function, provided that nothing contained in this subsection shall be deemed to authorize the holding, giving or taking place or any meeting, theatrical performance, exhibition or event of any kind without a license, where such license is or may be required by law of this Commonwealth or under any ordinance of this City.
GARBAGE
Putrescible animal and vegetable or other organic wastes resulting from the handling, preparation, cooking and consumption or cultivation of food and cans and containers which have contained food.
LITTER
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 public health, safety and welfare and/or the aesthetic.
NEWSPAPER
Any newspaper of general circulation as defined by general law, any newspaper duly entered with the Post Office Department of the United States, in accordance with federal statute or regulations, and any newspaper filed and recorded with any recording officer as provided by general law and, in addition thereto, shall mean and include any periodical or magazine, regularly published and sold to the public.
NONCOMMERCIAL HANDBILL
Any printed or written matter, any sample or device, dodger, circular, leaflet, pamphlet, newspaper, magazine, paper, booklet or any other printed or otherwise reproduced original or copies of any matter of literature not included in the aforesaid definitions of a "commercial handbill" or "newspaper."
PARK
A park, reservation, playground, beach, recreation center or any other public area in the City, owned or used by the City and devoted to active or passive recreation.
PERSON
Any person, firm, partnership, association, corporation, company or organization of any kind.
PRIVATE PREMISES
Any dwelling, house, building or other structure designed or used either wholly or in part for private residential purposes, whether inhabited or temporarily or continuously uninhabited or vacant, and shall include any yard, grounds, walk, driveway, porch, steps, vestibule or mailbox belonging or appurtenant to such dwelling, house, building or other structure.
PUBLIC PLACE
Any and all streets, sidewalks, boulevards, alleys or other public ways or passage and any and all public parks, squares, spaces, grounds and buildings.
REFUSE
All putrescible and nonputrescible solid wastes, except body wastes, including but not limited to garbage, ashes, street cleanings, dead animals, abandoned automobile and solid market and industrial wastes and rubbish as defined in 105 CMR § 410.041.
RUBBISH
Nonputrescible solid wastes consisting of both combustible and noncombustible wastes, such as paper, wrappings, cigarettes, cardboard, tin cans, yard clippings, leaves, wood, glass, bedding, crockery and similar materials.
VEHICLE
Every device in, upon or by which any person or property is or may be transported or drawn upon a highway, including devices used exclusively upon stationary rails or tracks.
No person shall throw or deposit litter in or upon any street, sidewalk or other public place within the City except in public receptacles, in authorized private receptacles for collection or in official City dumps.
Persons placing litter in public receptacles or in authorized private receptacles shall so do 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 shall sweep into or deposit in any gutter, street or other public place within the City the accumulation of litter from any building or lot or from any public or private sidewalk or driveway. Persons owning or occupying property shall keep the sidewalk in front of their premises free of litter.
No person owning or occupying a place of business shall sweep into or deposit in any gutter, street or other public place within the City the accumulation of litter from any building or lot or from any public or private sidewalk or driveway. Persons owning or occupying places of business within the City shall keep the sidewalk in front of their business premises free of litter.
No person, while a driver or passenger, shall throw from any vehicle or deposit litter upon any street or other public place within the City or upon private property.
No person shall drive or move any truck or other vehicle within the City unless such vehicle is so constructed or loaded as to prevent any load, contents or litter from being blown or deposited upon any street, alley or other public place, nor shall any person drive or move any commercial vehicle or truck within the City, the wheels or tires of which carry onto 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 City 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 any other body of water in a park or elsewhere within the City.
No person shall throw or deposit any commercial or noncommercial handbill in or upon any sidewalk, street or other public place within the City, nor shall any person hand out or distribute or sell any commercial handbill in any public place; provided, however, that it shall not be unlawful on any sidewalk, street or other public place within the City for any person to hand out or distribute, without charge to the receiver thereof, any handbill to any person willing to accept it.
No person shall throw or deposit any commercial or noncommercial handbill in or upon any vehicle without the consent of the owner; provided, however, that it shall not be unlawful in any public place for a person to hand out or distribute without charge to the receiver thereof a handbill to any occupant of a vehicle who is willing to accept it.
No person shall throw or deposit any letter or commercial or noncommercial handbill in or upon any private premises which are temporarily or continuously uninhabited or vacant.
No person shall throw, deposit or distribute any commercial or noncommercial handbill upon any private premises if requested by the owner or lawful occupant not to do so or if there is placed on said premises in a conspicuous position near the entrance thereof a sign bearing the words "no trespassing," "no peddlers or agents," "no advertisements" or any similar notice, indicating in any matter that the occupants of said premises do not desire to be molested or have their right of privacy disturbed or to have any such handbills left upon such premises.
A. 
No person shall throw, deposit or distribute any litter or commercial or noncommercial handbill in or upon private premises which are inhabited, except in the case of handbills by handing or transmitting any such handbill directly to the owner, occupant or other person then present in or upon such private premises; provided, however, that in case of inhabited private premises which are not posted, as provided in this chapter, such person, unless requested by anyone upon such premises not to do so, may place or deposit any such handbill in or upon such inhabited private premises if such handbill is placed or deposited so as to secure or prevent such handbill from being blown or drifted about such premises or sidewalks, streets or other public places and except that mailboxes may not be so used when so prohibited by federal postal law or regulations.
B. 
Exemption for mail and newspapers. The provisions of this section shall not apply to the distribution of mail by the United States Postal Service nor to newspapers (as defined herein), except that newspapers shall be placed on private property in such a manner as to prevent their being carried or deposited by the elements upon any street, sidewalk or other public place or upon private property.
No person in an aircraft shall throw out, drop or deposit within the City any litter, handbill or any other object.
No person shall throw or deposit litter on any occupied private property within the City, whether owned by such person or not, except that the owner or person in control of private property may maintain authorized private receptacles for collection in such a manner that litter will be prevented from being carried or deposited by the elements upon any street, sidewalk or other public place or upon any private property.
No person shall throw or deposit litter on any open or vacant property within the City limits, whether owned by such person or not.
The owner of any parcel of land, vacant or otherwise, shall be responsible for maintaining such parcel of land in a clean and sanitary condition and free from the litter. The owner of such parcel shall correct any condition caused by or on such parcel which affects the public health, safety or well-being or which violates or causes a violation of this chapter.
A. 
Notice to remove. The Health Director or his or her agent is hereby authorized and empowered to order the owner of any parcel of land, vacant or otherwise, within the City limits or the agent of such owner to properly dispose of litter located on such owner's property or to correct any condition which violates the duties imposed by § 128-19. Such order shall be by certified mail, addressed to said owner at his or her last known address or served upon him or her in person.
[Amended 6-3-2014 by Ord. No. 100-2014]
B. 
Action upon noncompliance. Upon the failure, neglect or refusal of any person notified to dispose of the litter properly within 10 days after receipt of written order provided for in Subsection A above or within 30 days after the date of such order in the event that the same is returned to the office of the City Health Director 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 Health Director or his or her agent is hereby authorized and empowered to pay for the disposing of such litter or to order its disposal by the City at the expense of the person liable to comply. Such expense may be recovered on a civil suit for breach of contract.
[Amended 6-3-2014 by Ord. No. 100-2014]
C. 
Charge included in tax bill. When the City has removed such litter or has paid for its removal, the actual cost thereof, plus accrued interest at the rate of 8% 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 City, and said charge shall be due and payable by said owner at the time of payment of such bill.
D. 
Recorded statement constitutes lien. Where the full amount due the City is not paid by such owner within 30 days after the disposal of such litter, as provided for in Subsections A and B above, then and in that case, the Treasurer shall cause to be recorded in the Registry of Deeds, Worcester County, a sworn statement showing the cost and expense incurred for the work, the date the work was done and the locations of the property on which said work was done. The recordation of such sworn statement shall constitute a lien and privilege on the property and shall remain in full force and effect for the amount due in principal and interest, plus costs of court, if any, for collection, until final payment has been made. Said costs and expenses shall be collected in the manner fixed by law for the collection of taxes and, further, shall be subject to a delinquent penalty of 8% in the event that the same is not paid in full on or before the date the tax bill, upon which said charge appears, becomes delinquent. Sworn statements recorded in accordance with the provisions hereof shall be prima facie evidence that all legal formalities have been complied with and that the work has been done properly and satisfactorily and shall be full notice to every person concerned that the amount of the statement, plus interest, constitutes a charge against the property designated or described in the statement and that the same is due and collectible as provided by law.
A. 
Any person violating any provisions of this chapter shall be fined as follows: $250 for the first offense, $500 for the second offense, $1,000 for the third offense and $2,000 for the fourth and any subsequent offenses for such illegal dumping within the City limits.
[Amended 12-4-2007 by Ord. No. 262-07]
B. 
The City may collect and enforce the payment of any charges or costs imposed pursuant to this chapter by appropriate legal proceedings or by the procedures, powers and privileges granted to cities under MGL c. 40, § 38, and/or MGL c. 83, §§ 16-16F, inclusive.
C. 
Any person found responsible in a civil action to enforce this chapter shall be required to pay a civil penalty of three times the amount, up to a maximum of $5,000, estimated or actually paid by the City to remove such material from either public or private property. In the event that a person fails or refuses to pay such civil penalty, the amount so owed shall constitute a municipal charge and the City shall have a lien upon any real estate owned by such person in the commonwealth.
[Added 12-4-2007 by Ord. No. 262-07]
If any section, subsection, sentence, clause, phrase or portion of this chapter is for any reason held invalid or unconstitutional by any court of competent jurisdiction, such portion shall be deemed a separate, distinct and independent provision, and such holding shall not affect the validity of the remaining portions hereof.