Under the township’s new ordinances, village restaurants would have to have four trash pick ups a week and it would be against the law to sweep trash or litter into street gutters.
The considered two ordinances at Tuesday night’s meeting that are intended to address complaints about the town’s trash and litter problems.
Maplewood Health Officer Robert Roe said before the meeting that the township decided to be more stringent about trash rules to maintain sanitation and prevent mice and rats. “It’s all about food,” said Roe, who noted the increase in restaurants in the Village.
Most business owners seem to be in favor of the additional garbage pickups, Roe said, despite the increased cost.
The first ordinance – which prohibits putting trash or litter into street gutters – passed with a vote 5-0.
The second ordinance, which would require four weekly trash pickups for apartments and food businesses, was slightly amended and will be considered for final passage on Sept. 4.
Julie Doran, director of the (MVA), said the alliance supports the new measures. “Most of our businesses clean their sidewalks of litter at least once a day now, but any effort to ensure that it is done consistently by all will only serve to improve both the business climate and the quality of life for everyone who enjoys the Village,” Doran said.
The MVA supplements regular trash pickups in the Village with twice weekly cleanings (three times in the summer).
. Last year, residents on Summit and Richmond Avenues dealt with a rat infestation that was traced to a homeowner who put food outside for birds and squirrels. Since the health department convinced the homeowner to stop, rat activity has quieted down. Roe recently found a new rat burrow in the neighborhood but it does not seem to be active.
He said bird feeders are a lure for rats, who are especially drawn to sunflower seeds. Roe suggested filling feeders with small, millet-type seeds.
Recently, the manager of the contacted Roe after a customer reported seeing a rat in the women’s locker room. Roe said although his inspection of the locker rooms and the snack bar turned up no signs of rats, he put out locked boxes of poison as a precaution.