| By Jason C. Mattox
After months of debate concerning the city of Sardis’ problems with commercial trash spilling into the streets and onto private property, aldermen last week approved an ordinance that will require businesses to enclose their trash dumpsters in wooden or brick structures.
The ordinance takes affect May 4, but businesses will have until August 4 to comply.
Enterprises that use nothing larger than one 90-gallon container are exempt from the ordinance. But the new rules require that all cardboard, bailed or loose, must be kept inside an enclosure.
Businesses which fail to comply could face a misdemeanor charge and an unspecified fine, according to Tommy Shuler, Sardis city attorney.
"There is no question we have had problems with trash accumulating over the tops of dumpsters and blowing off the business property," he said.
"It really doesn’t do us any good to have the stores enclose their dumpsters if they are going to pile cardboard all around it," Shuler said. "So they will be required to keep all cardboard in the dumpster and enclosed."
Shuler said plans for the enclosures must be approved by the city’s building inspector prior to construction.
Mayor Alvis "Rusty" Dye said he had succeeded in contacting a corporate manager for Dollar General, whose East Lee Street store has been the target of complaints regarding trash accumulation. Dye said the executive was able to get the trash cleaned up.
"That man told me to keep an eye on it and if we have any problems, he will make sure they are taken care of," Dye said. "It is just ridiculous when the trash is out in the streets and the trees."
The mayor said he has been approached by several businesses who would be willing to pay the city for trash pick-up.
"There are some businesses who don’t even make as much trash as a large household," Ward 1 Alderman Joseph "JoJo" Still said. "I don’t think those would be a problem."
Shuler told city leaders they would have to limit the volume of trash they would pick up from businesses.
"We certainly need to do that," Dye said. "We don’t want to be out there picking up 20 or more bags at a time."
No action was taken on collection of commercial trash.