Fountain Inn, Local, Politics

Inn the Know

Shawn Bell

Section 16-6 of the City of Fountain Inn’s Code of Ordinances states, “Material other than garbage and rubbish, except otherwise provided in this chapter, must be disposed of by the residence or business and will not be collected by the city.” This ordinance has been in effect since at least 1980. However, for quite some time the City of Fountain Inn Public Works Department has not enforced or consistently enforced excluding items from collection such as white goods, bulky waste, hazardous waste, construction and demolition debris, commercial contractor rubbish, and rubbish greater than normal seasonal trimmings.

Back in 1980, the City’s population was approximately 4,200 and in 1990, it had only increased to about 4,300. Not unlike many small municipalities, even though the ordinance was in place, the City did its best to accommodate citizens regarding the collection of waste materials.

Fast forward to 2018, the City’s population is now closer to 9,000 and expected to continue to increase. The City’s population growth has placed an increased demand on the Public Works Department’s personnel and equipment. Collecting excluded items has been a contributing factor in our ability to collect yard waste in a timely manner. Also, our cost to dispose of items such as tires, appliances, televisions, mattresses, and furniture continues to increase.

In addition, the Department has been utilizing inmate labor for years to supplement the City’s collection efforts and in an attempt to keep taxes and fees low. However, utilizing inmate labor is extremely unreliable in ensuring the City’s waste materials are picked-up in a timely manner.

After multiple Council work sessions and much discussion, City Council approved a Resolution at its regularly scheduled October Council meeting confirming the strict enforcement of Section 16-6 of the City’s Code of Ordinances. In order to give citizens time to prepare for this change, the enforcement of not collecting waste materials other than recyclables, garbage, and rubbish will begin on January 1, 2019.

Shawn Bell is the City Administrator of Fountain Inn. For more information, go to www.fountaininn.org, call 864-862-4421, or email shawn.bell@fountaininn.org.♦

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