City Council favors bill on garbage counseling for tenants

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Pittsburgh City Council gave initial approval today to a measure that compels landlords to tell their tenants when and how to put out the trash.

"This legislation is not about making enemies. It's not about taking a sledge hammer and going out seeking to fine people," said its author, Councilman Bruce Kraus. "It simply asks the landlord to review certain obligations with their tenant ... It really is an educational piece."

The legislation compels city landlords to verify, in writing, that their tenants have seen the city code provisions requiring that trash must be put out in plastic bags, which can be in trash cans no larger than 35 gallons, and must be put out between 7 p.m. and 6 a.m., with recyclables collected every other week. Landlords would turn in verification forms initialed by their tenants with their new rental registrations, likely due April 1.

Violators could be fined $50 for the first violation, and $500 for subsequent violations. The initial fine is doubled for owners of apartments of six or more units.

The vote was 5-1 with Mr. Kraus joined by Ricky Burgess, Dan Deasy, Darlene Harris and William Peduto. Tonya Payne voted against it, and Patrick Dowd abstained, while Jim Motznik and Doug Shields were out of the room. A final vote could occur next week.


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