Tompkins County, NY
 
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[Adopted 9-6-1994 by L.L. No. 4-1994]
A. 
The purpose and intent of this article is to prohibit the disposal of solid waste at any location other than at properly authorized facilities or sites and to prevent the unauthorized use of dumpsters and other solid waste containers.
B. 
The Tompkins County County Legislature acknowledges the growing costs associated with the disposal of solid waste and the resulting inclination of those who may seek to avoid such costs by depositing such material along highways, in vacant lots, on business sites, in the private dumpsters of others and in other unauthorized places. Such activities are hereby deemed to pose an imminent hazard to the public health, safety, and welfare of the residents of the county.
C. 
The adoption and vigorous enforcement of this article is intended to be an effective deterrent to dumping of solid waste. This article shall be liberally construed to effectuate its objectives and purposes.
As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
BELOW REGULATORY CONCERN RADIOACTIVE WASTE
Radioactive waste that has been deregulated by the United States Environmental Protection Agency or Nuclear Regulatory Commission, or the New York State Department of Health or Environmental Conservation.
DISPOSE
To abandon, discharge, deposit, inject, dump, spill, leak, or place any substance into or on any land or water or so that such substances or any constituent thereof may enter the environment. The placement of biodegradable material in a properly maintained compost pile is not disposal of solid waste.
HAZARDOUS WASTE
Includes radioactive waste (including below-regulatory-concern radioactive waste, or any radioactive waste that has been deregulated) and that waste defined to be hazardous by any federal or New York State law, code, rule or regulation.
PERSON
Any individual, firm, public or private corporation, political subdivision, government agency, municipality, industry, partnership, association, institution, trust, estate or any other legal entity whatsoever.
PROPERLY MAINTAINED COMPOST PILE
Refers to a compost pile of less than 25 cubic yards that:
A. 
Is maintained and operated in a safe nuisance-free manner;
B. 
Contains no sewage, sludge, or septage; and
C. 
Follows acceptable methods of composting that minimize odors and produce a useful stable end product.
SOLID WASTE
All putrescible and nonputrescible materials of substances that are discarded or rejected as being spent, worthless, useless or in excess to the owners at the time of such discard or rejection, including but not limited to garbage, refuse, industrial and commercial waste, sludge from air or water treatment facilities, rubbish, tires, ashes, contained gaseous material, incinerator residue, construction and demolition debris, discarded automobiles and offal.
A. 
No person shall dispose of solid waste in the County of Tompkins except at:
[Amended 12-5-1995 by L.L. No. 5-1995]
(1) 
A disposal facility exempt from the requirements of 6 NYCRR Part 360 if its exempt status is unaffected by such disposal, except that there shall be no exemption under this article for disposal areas within the property boundaries of a single-family residence or farm for solid waste generated on that residence or farm unless such disposal is either otherwise exempt or the solid waste disposed of is entirely construction and demolition debris, ashes or yard waste as defined by state law.
(2) 
A disposal facility authorized to accept such waste for disposal pursuant to said Part 360 or pursuant to an order issued by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation or a court having jurisdiction.
B. 
No person shall own, operate, or maintain a disposal area in Tompkins County that is not authorized as provided for in Subsection A(2) or exempt as provided in Subsection A(1).
C. 
No person shall violate any rules or regulations promulgated by the Tompkins County Solid Waste Manager or designee with respect to activities at any solid waste facility owned, operated or leased by the County of Tompkins.
D. 
No person shall dispose of hazardous waste at any solid waste facility owned, operated or leased by the County of Tompkins.
E. 
All vehicles transporting solid wastes or recyclable materials to and/or entering any solid waste or materials recovery facility owned, leased or operated by the county or any solid waste facility in the county shall have the solid waste or recyclable materials appropriately covered or confined in the vehicle by the use of tarpaulins, nets, or other devices that prevent papers, plastics, litter, and other substances from blowing or falling out of the vehicle. Said tarpaulin, net, or cover shall not be removed until said vehicle passes a designated point within the solid waste or materials recovery facility. No person may operate a vehicle without following these requirements.
F. 
Each person is strictly liable for ensuring that solid waste he/she generates is properly disposed of. If solid waste generated by a person is illegally disposed of, the person generating said solid waste shall be subject to civil liability as defined in § 140-33 of this article, in addition to any other fines or penalties that may be applicable. Any indicia of ownership, including but not limited to the person's name on some or all of the solid waste, is deemed sufficient proof of ownership of said solid waste.
G. 
No person may place any solid waste in a dumpster, garbage can, or other solid waste container belonging to another person without the permission of the owner or person legally entitled to use said dumpster or solid waste container.
A. 
Any person who commits a violation of § 140-32A, B, C, or G above is subject to arrest. Punishment upon conviction shall be as follows:
(1) 
First offense. Conviction of a first offense under this article shall be punishable by a fine of not less than $100 nor more than $500, and/or a term of imprisonment not to exceed 15 days, together with restitution based on avoided disposal fees and cost of collection and hauling, and/or community service. Violation of this provision shall be a violation as defined by § 55.10(3) of the Penal Law of the State of New York.
(2) 
Second or subsequent offense. Conviction of a second or subsequent offense within a year of the first offense shall be punishable by a fine or not less than $500 nor more than $1,000 and/or a term of imprisonment not to exceed six months, together with restitution based on avoided disposal fees and cost of collection and hauling, and/or community service. Violation of this provision shall be a misdemeanor as defined by § 55.10(2) of the Penal Law of the State of New York.
(3) 
Conviction of any company, partnership, municipality, or any entity other than an individual person shall be subject to a fine of not less than $500 nor more than $2,500 and/or community service and/or restitution.
B. 
Any person who violates § 140-32D above shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, shall be punishable by a fine or not less than $500 nor more than $5,000 for a first offense; and for a second and each subsequent offense, he/she shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punishable for a fine of not less than $3,000 nor more than $20,000 or a term of imprisonment of not more than six months, or both.
C. 
Any person who commits a violation of § 140-32E above is subject to arrest and punishment, upon conviction, of a fine of not less than $50 and/or a term of imprisonment not to exceed 15 days and/or community service.
D. 
Each day during which an offense continues shall be deemed to be a separate offense.
E. 
Enforcement of Subsections A through D shall be effected as follows:
(1) 
By a peace officer or police officer as provided by the Criminal Procedure Law of the State of New York;
(2) 
By the Tompkins County Solid Waste Manager and/or the Public Health Director or their designees by issuance of an appearance ticket pursuant to Article 150 of the Criminal Procedure Law of the State of New York.
F. 
Persons violating § 140-32F shall be liable for a civil penalty of $50 for the first offense, $100 for a second offense and $500 for a third or subsequent offense. Said persons shall also be liable for any expense in removing the illegally disposed of waste. This provision shall be enforced by a delivery of a notice of civil penalty by a police officer, peace officer, or the Solid Waste Manager or designee thereof, either in person or by certified mail. Failure to pay said civil penalty may result in the commencement of a civil action by the County Attorney or his designee. Upon commencement of an action, the person shall be liable for attorneys' fees in an amount of $100, in addition to the civil penalty.
G. 
Civil enforcement. Notwithstanding the penalties set forth above, the Tompkins County Attorney may institute a civil action to obtain restitution to the County of Tompkins from such offender for the actual costs incurred in rectifying the problem created by the aforesaid violation or improper disposal of solid waste, or to abate, enjoin, or otherwise compel cessation of the violation of any provision of this article.
H. 
Any person who commits a violation of this article, including any activity described in § 140-32, shall, in addition to any other fines and penalties provided for by this article, be liable to pay restitution to the county or any other person that incurs costs in collecting, hauling, or properly disposing of solid waste or hazardous waste incurred as a result of the offense.
I. 
Enforcement. This article is enforceable throughout the county. It does not supersede ordinances enacted by municipalities within Tompkins County that regulate the disposal of solid waste if such ordinances are not inconsistent with this article.