Trashy situation for Garfield Heights residents: fines and arrest warrants for cans left out too long

Residents facing serious fines for leaving cans out over 12 hours

Trashy situation for Garfield Heights residents: fines and arrest warrants for cans left out too long

CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Residents in Garfield Heights are facing hundreds of dollars in fines for leaving their trashcans out too long.

On top of the fines, Kevin Parsons got a warrant for arrest in the mail. His wife, Brittany, put their trash out on Monday, their designated trash day.

She was taking care of their 5 year old and sick baby, so she forgot to bring them back inside that night.

When Brittany saw it, she said she “was freaking out I was like what’d he do? Normally when you get that stuff you do something to earn it”.

Kevin called the city. He said “they told me I had to pay the fine to make it go away”.

The fine included $45 for the trashcans, $112 in court costs, and $123 in miscellaneous fines.

But it didn’t stop there. Kevin learned he also had to pay an additional $25 to the B.M.V. to keep his driving privileges. “I’m absolutely appalled by having to pay $300 for a trashcan” he said.

The hefty fines are a hard hit for the new family to take “especially when you’re paying $30 per can of formula for a preemie baby, diapers wipes, trying to maintain a household,” said Brittany.

19 News spoke to Garfield Heights Law Director Tim Riley on the phone. He said the arrest warrant was issued for missing court, not the trashcans.

He also said they send warning letters after a violation, but the Parsons say they never got one.

“The ordinance doesn’t require us to send a warning letter,” said Riley.

The ordinance was put in place by City Council roughly 5 years ago. The city started enforcing it about a year ago and when they did, Riley said they sent a reminder letter to residents.

The ordinance states :

913.04 GARBAGE AND RUBBISH CONTAINERS.
Time of Year
Time of Placement
April 1 - October 31 6:00 p.m.
November 1 - March 31 4:00 p.m.

According to the citation:

(Ord. 79-2010. Passed 11-22-10.)

(b) Empty waste containers shall not be permitted to remain in the front of any house or other building by the owner, agent, lessee or occupant of that building for a period in excess of twelve hours from the time of collection by the City.

(Ord. 59-2006. Passed 9-25-06.)

(c) Whoever violates any provision of Section 913.04 is guilty of a minor misdemeanor and shall be fined not more than one hundred fifty dollars ($150.00). The above listed minor misdemeanor may be enforced by the issuance of a citation.

(Ord. 23-2006. Passed 6-12-06.)

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