New garbage rules start Monday

Bulk items like this mattress set out for pickup under the new garbage rules going into effect Monday still have to be wrapped or bundled.

COVINGTON, Ky. - Starting Monday, Covington residents will no longer need green stickers to set out large items alongside their city-issued trash cart - but they still need to package the items correctly.

Whereas the green sticker program has been eliminated, other rules - such as what bulk items can be set out and how they're set out - have largely stayed the same, said Sheila Fields, the City's Solid Waste and Recycling Coordinator.
"We've made it easier for residents, but we remain committed to keeping the City's streets and sidewalks free of trash and debris," Fields said.
Under the old program, residents were given 12 green stickers a year and had to attach a sticker to each item that didn't fit in their assigned trash cart. Under the new program, residents forego the stickers and can put out one additional bulk item each week with their cart.
But what doesn't change, Fields emphasized, are requirements that items be wrapped, bundled or bagged. For example: 
  • Mattresses and upholstered furniture must be wrapped in plastic.
  • Freon must be removed from appliances by a certified professional, with documentation attached to the appliance.
  • Loose shrubbery, sticks and lumber must be tied in bundles no longer than 4 feet and no heavier than 50 pounds.
  • And trash must be bagged, secured and placed inside of a garbage can with a lid. 
Items that aren't correctly prepared will not be picked by Rumpke.
Residents should have received a brochure from the City this week reminding them of the rules.
Permitted bulk items
A mattress and box spring are considered one item. Other permitted bulk items include things like furniture, carpet bundles, up to three trash bags (which should be put in a can), yard debris bags and bundles, and appliances.
Residents who have a pile of bulk items to put out in a given week can arrange a special pickup by calling Rumpke, the City's waste collection contractor, at (800) 828-8171. Or they can drop off the items for a fee at the City's Transfer Station in Latonia. Call (859) 261-1740 for hours and drop-off rates.
Prohibited bulk items 
Residents are prohibited from setting out for bulk pickup items such as: 
  • Tires.
  • Batteries.
  • Liquids.
  • Loose trash and debris.
  • Combustible and hazardous materials.
  • Rocks, dirt & construction debris.
  • Appliances still containing Freon. 
To learn about where and how to get rid of some of these items, residents can visit the City's website HERE.
The City set up the green sticker program three years ago to rein in what some called "the wild, wild west of garbage set-out": Large piles of debris, furniture, and loose trash set out in front of residences for garbage collection, often days ahead of schedule.
The green sticker requirement largely reduced those eyesores and health hazards, but there were ongoing challenges with use of the stickers and it remained unpopular among some residents and officials.
The Covington City Commission recently voted to eliminate the stickers and change the bulk item procedures.
The new ordinance also included changes in the fines for code violations related to solid waste violations. A new fine structure was established to make them more proportional to the seriousness of the violation and to give the City flexibility in using them for repeated and deliberate violations.
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