Chapter 10.60
LITTER CONTROL

Sections:

10.60.010    Citation of provisions.

10.60.020    Definitions.

10.60.030    Deposit in authorized receptacles required.

10.60.040    Control at construction sites.

10.60.050    Placement in receptacles – Receptacle standards.

10.60.060    Sweeping into gutters prohibited.

10.60.070    Property owners’ duty to keep sidewalks litter-free.

10.60.080    Throwing from vehicles prohibited.

10.60.090    Deposit in parks prohibited.

10.60.100    Deposit in water prohibited.

10.60.110    Posting notices prohibited.

10.60.120    Deposit on private property prohibited.

10.60.130    Property owners’ duty to keep premises litter-free.

10.60.140    Deposit on vacant lots prohibited.

10.60.150    Handbills – Distributing in public prohibited.

10.60.160    Handbills – Placing on vehicles prohibited.

10.60.170    Handbills – Deposit on vacant property prohibited.

10.60.180    Handbills – Distribution on posted premises prohibited.

10.60.190    Handbills – Distribution on private premises prohibited.

10.60.200    Mail and newspapers exempted.

10.60.210    Windborne litter – Receptacles for certain establishments.

10.60.220    Abatement by city – Notice to remove.

10.60.225    Appeal.

10.60.230    Abatement by city – Action upon noncompliance.

10.60.240    Abatement by city – Civil debt.

10.60.250    Abatement by city – Recorded statement constitutes lien.

10.60.260    Receptacles and bags required.

10.60.270    Responsibility to procure and place receptacles.

10.60.280    Receptacles – Certain placements required.

10.60.290    Receptacles – Number required.

10.60.300    Receptacles – Minimum standards.

10.60.310    Receptacles – Prohibited acts.

10.60.320    Violation – Presumption – Penalty.

10.60.010 Citation of provisions.

This chapter shall be known and may be cited as the city of Bellingham litter control ordinance. [Ord. 8573 § 15(A), 1977].

10.60.020 Definitions.

For the purposes of this chapter, the following terms, phrases, words, and their derivations, shall have the meanings given in this section. When not inconsistent with the context, words used in the present tense include the future, words used in the plural number include the singular number, and words used in the singular number include the plural number. The word “shall” is always mandatory and not merely directory.

“Aircraft” means any contrivance now known or hereafter invented, used or designated for navigation or for flight in the air. Aircraft includes helicopters and lighter-than-air dirigibles and balloons.

“Authorized private receptacle” means a litter storage and/or collection receptacle as defined or required in the sections of this chapter dealing with garbage can specifications as now enacted or hereafter amended.

“City” means the city of Bellingham.

“Commercial handbill” means any printed or written matter, any sample, device, dodger, circular, leaflet, pamphlet, paper, booklet, or any other printed or otherwise reproduced original or copies of any matter of literature which does the following:

A. Advertises for sale any merchandise, product, commodity, or thing; or

B. Directs attention to any business or mercantile or commercial establishment, or other activity, for the purpose of either directly or indirectly promoting the interest thereof by sales; or

C. Directs attention to or advertises any meeting, theatrical performance, exhibition, or event of any kind, for which an admission fee is charged or donation solicited for the purpose of private gain or profit;

D. While containing reading matter other than advertising matter, is predominantly and essentially an advertisement, and is distributed or circulated for advertising purposes or for the private benefit and gain of any person so engaged as advertiser or distributor.

“Garbage” means putrescible animal and vegetable wastes resulting from the handling, preparation, cooking, and consumption of food.

“Litter” means garbage, refuse, and rubbish, as defined in this section, and in addition all other waste material or other unauthorized substance, including, but not limited to, motor oil, antifreeze, paint, or any other petroleum based products, or solid material which, if thrown or deposited as prohibited in this chapter, tends to create a danger to public health, safety, and welfare or tends to create a danger of pollution or environmental damage.

“Litter receptacle” means containers for the disposal of litter of not more than 60-gallon capacity; provided, that special containers of larger capacity such as those referred to as dumpsters, and garbage containers or other waste containers serving single-family or multifamily residences are not included within this definition.

“Newspaper” means any newspaper of general circulation as defined by general law, any newspaper duly entered with the Post Office Department of the United States in accordance with federal statute or regulation, and any newspaper filed and recorded with any recording officer as provided by general law; and, in addition thereto, means and includes any periodical or current magazine regularly published with not less than four issues per year and sold to the public.

“Noncommercial handbill” means any printed or written matter, any sample, device, dodger, circular, leaflet, pamphlet, newspaper, magazine, paper, booklet, or any other printed or otherwise reproduced original or copies of any matter of literature not included in the definitions of commercial handbill or newspaper.

“Park” is a park, reservation, playground, beach, recreation center, or any other public area in the city owned or used by the city and devoted to active or passive recreation.

“Person” means any industry, public or private corporation, copartnership, association, firm, individual, or other entity whatsoever.

“Private premises” means any dwelling, house, building, or other structure designed or used either wholly or in part for private residential purposes, whether inhabited or temporarily or continuously uninhabited or vacant, and shall include any yard, grounds, walk, driveway, porch, steps, vestibule, or mailbox belonging or appurtenant to such dwelling, house, building, or other structure.

“Public place” means any area that is used or held out for the use of the public whether owned or operated by public or private interests. Public place, for purposes of compliance with the provisions of this chapter regarding the placement of litter receptacles in the numbers specified, shall not include indoor areas. An indoor area shall be construed to mean any enclosed area covered with a roof and protected from moisture and wind.

“Refuse” is all putrescible and nonputrescible solid wastes, except body wastes, including garbage, rubbish, ashes, street cleanings, dead animals, abandoned automobiles, and solid market and industrial wastes.

“Rubbish” means nonputrescible solid wastes consisting of both combustible and noncombustible wastes such as paper, wrappings, cigarettes, cardboard, tin cans, yard clippings, leaves, wood, glass, bedding, crockery, and similar materials.

“Vehicle” means every device in, upon, or by which any person or property is or may be transported or drawn upon a highway, including devices used exclusively upon stationary rails or tracks. [Ord. 10919 § 1, 1997; Ord. 8573 § 15(B), 1977].

10.60.030 Deposit in authorized receptacles required.

No person shall throw or deposit litter in or upon any street, sidewalk, or other public place within the city except in public receptacles, in authorized private receptacles for collection, or in official city dumps. [Ord. 8573 § 15(C), 1977].

10.60.040 Control at construction sites.

A. No individual or person in charge of a construction site in the city shall cause or allow any litter from the site to be deposited by the elements or otherwise upon any adjacent public or private property.

B. During such time as the construction site is not actually being used, all litter shall be stored or deposited in a container or receptacle to the extent practicable in such a manner as to prevent the litter from being deposited upon adjacent property by the elements or otherwise and to prevent unsightly piles of litter; provided, that nothing in this section shall be construed as permitting unsightly piles of litter to accumulate on the premises should insufficient containers or receptacles be available. [Ord. 8573 § 15(D), 1977].

10.60.050 Placement in receptacles – Receptacle standards.

A. Persons placing litter in public receptacles or in authorized private receptacles shall do so in such a manner as to prevent it from being carried or deposited by the elements upon any street, sidewalk or other public place or upon private property.

B. All authorized private receptacles are to be braced or supported in such a manner that dogs or other animals cannot enter or tip or tilt the same or empty any of the contents thereof; and each such receptacle shall have overlapping close-fitting lids designed in such a way as to remain closed when not in actual use. [Ord. 8573 § 15(E), 1977].

10.60.060 Sweeping into gutters prohibited.

No person shall sweep into or deposit in any gutter, street, or other public place within the city, the accumulation of litter from any public or private sidewalk or driveway. Persons owning or occupying property shall keep the sidewalk in front of their premises free of litter. [Ord. 8573 § 15(F), 1977].

10.60.070 Property owners’ duty to keep sidewalks litter-free.

No person owning or occupying any property or premises within the city shall sweep into or deposit in any gutter, street, or other public place within the city, accumulation of litter from any building or lot or from any public or private sidewalk or driveway. Persons owning or occupying any property or premises within the city shall keep the sidewalk in front of or adjacent to said property or premises free of litter. [Ord. 8573 § 15(G), 1977].

10.60.080 Throwing from vehicles prohibited.

No person, while a driver or passenger in a vehicle, shall throw or deposit litter upon any street or other public place within the city, or upon private property. [Ord. § 8573 § 15(H), 1977].

10.60.090 Deposit in parks prohibited.

No person shall throw or deposit litter in any park within the city except in public receptacles and in such a manner that the litter will be prevented from being carried or deposited by the elements upon any part of the park or upon any street or other public place. Where public receptacles are not provided, all such litter shall be carried away and properly disposed of elsewhere as provided in this chapter. [Ord. 8573 § 15(I), 1977].

10.60.100 Deposit in water prohibited.

A. No person shall throw or deposit litter in any fountain, pond, lake, stream, bay, or other body of water in a park or elsewhere in the city of Bellingham.

B. No person shall pour, allow to drain, discard, or otherwise introduce motor oil and other petroleum-based products, antifreeze, paint, or any other unauthorized substance including solid materials into any surface water drainage course or body of water, including but not limited to lakes, ponds, streams, creeks, stormwater catch basins, stormwater detention ponds, ditches, and stormwater inlets, culverts, and manholes. [Ord. 10910 § 2, 1997; Ord. 8573 § 15(J), 1977].

10.60.110 Posting notices prohibited.

No person shall post or affix any notice, poster, or other paper or device calculated to attract the attention of the public to any lamppost, public utility pole, or shade tree, or upon any public structure or building, except as may be otherwise authorized or required by law. [Ord. 8573 § 15(R), 1977].

10.60.120 Deposit on private property prohibited.

No person shall throw or deposit litter on any occupied property within the city, whether owned by such person or not, except that the owner or person in control of private property may maintain authorized private receptacles for collection in such a manner that litter will be prevented from being carried or deposited by the elements upon any street, sidewalk, or other public place upon any private property. [Ord. 8573 § 15(S), 1977].

10.60.130 Property owners’ duty to keep premises litter-free.

The owner or person in control of any private property shall at all times maintain the premises free of litter; provided, however, that this section shall not prohibit the storage of litter in authorized private receptacles for collection. [Ord. 8573 § 15(T), 1977].

10.60.140 Deposit on vacant lots prohibited.

No person shall throw or deposit litter on any open or vacant private property within the city whether owned by such person or not. [Ord. 8573 § 15(U), 1977].

10.60.150 Handbills – Distributing in public prohibited.

No person shall throw or deposit any commercial or noncommercial handbill in or upon any sidewalk, street, or other public place within the city. [Ord. 8573 § 15(K), 1977].

10.60.160 Handbills – Placing on vehicles prohibited.

No person shall throw or deposit any commercial or noncommercial handbill in or upon any vehicle; provided, however, that it is not unlawful in any public place for a person to hand out or distribute without charge to the receiver thereof, a commercial or noncommercial handbill to any occupant of a vehicle who is willing to accept. [Ord. 8573 § 15(L), 1977].

10.60.170 Handbills – Deposit on vacant property prohibited.

No person shall throw, deposit, or distribute any commercial or noncommercial handbill in or upon any private premises which are temporarily or continuously uninhabited or vacant. [Ord. 8573 § 15(M), 1977].

10.60.180 Handbills – Distribution on posted premises prohibited.

No person shall throw, deposit, or distribute any commercial or noncommercial handbill upon any private premises if requested by anyone thereon not to do so or if there is placed on the premises in a conspicuous position near the entrance thereof a sign bearing the words “No Trespassing,” “No Peddlers or Agents,” “No Advertisement,” or any similar notice indicating in any manner that the occupants of the premises do not desire to be molested or have their right of privacy disturbed, or to have any such handbills left upon such premises. [Ord. 8573 § 15(N), 1977].

10.60.190 Handbills – Distribution on private premises prohibited.

No person shall throw, deposit, or distribute any commercial or noncommercial handbill in or upon private premises which are inhabited, except by handing or transmitting any such handbill directly to the owner, occupant, or other person then present in or upon such private premises; provided, however, that in case of inhabited private premises which are not posted as provided in this chapter, such person, unless required by anyone upon such premises not to do so, may place or deposit any such handbill in or upon such inhabited private premises, if such handbill is so placed or deposited as to secure or prevent such handbill from being blown or drifted about such premises or sidewalks, streets, or other public places, and except that mailboxes may not be so used when so prohibited by federal postal law or regulations. [Ord. 8573 § 15(O), 1977].

10.60.200 Mail and newspapers exempted.

The provisions of this chapter shall not apply to the distribution of mail by the United States, nor to newspaper as defined in BMC 10.60.020, except that newspapers shall be placed on private property in such a manner as to prevent their being carried or deposited by the elements upon any street, sidewalk, or other public place or upon private property. [Ord. 8573 § 15(P), 1977].

10.60.210 Windborne litter – Receptacles for certain establishments.

Drive-ins and similar establishments shall have receptacles wherein all papers; containers and other litter are deposited and which comply with the standards for litter receptacles and authorized private receptacles, depending upon their use. It is unlawful for proprietors to permit conditions whereby loose litter accumulates and is blown to adjoining property. They shall promptly retrieve such litter and secure it in proper receptacles. Upon their failure to do so, the city may gather up the litter so deposited and the proprietor shall pay for the cost thereof. [Ord. 8573 § 15(Q), 1977].

10.60.220 Abatement by city – Notice to remove.

The city is authorized and empowered to notify the owner of any open or vacant private property within the city, or the agent of such owner, to properly dispose of litter located on such owner’s property which is dangerous to public health, safety or welfare. Such notice shall be by registered and/or certified mail, marked “return receipt requested,” and marked “deliver only to addressee and show to whom and date delivered,” addressed to the owner at his last known address; or such notice may, in the alternative, be personally served. [Ord. 8573 § 15(V)(1), 1977].

10.60.225 Appeal.

Any person who has been provided with a notice to remove litter pursuant to BMC 10.60.220 may, within 10 days of the date of the notice, appeal the order to abate to the hearing examiner by filing with the hearing examiner a written notice stating the grounds for the appeal and attaching thereto a copy of the order. Further abatement proceedings by the city shall be held in abeyance until the hearing examiner has heard the appeal and rendered its decision, which shall be final. If no appeal is filed in a timely manner, the decision of the administrative officer issuing the notice to abate shall be final.

An action seeking to modify, reverse, set aside or enjoin an action of the city under this chapter shall be filed in a court of competent jurisdiction within 14 days of the date of the final decision of the city. [Ord. 2002-10-069 § 29; Ord. 1998-06-035 § 4].

10.60.230 Abatement by city – Action upon noncompliance.

Upon the failure, neglect, or refusal of any owner or agent so notified to properly dispose of litter dangerous to the public health, safety, or welfare within 10 days after receipt of written notice provided for in BMC 10.60.220, or within 10 days after the date of such notice in the event the same is returned to the city because of post office inability to make delivery thereof, provided the same was properly addressed to the last known address of such owner or agent, the city is authorized and empowered to pay for the disposing of such litter or to order its disposal by the city or others. [Ord. 8573 § 15(V)(2), 1977].

10.60.240 Abatement by city – Civil debt.

When the city has effected the removal of such dangerous litter or has paid for its removal, the actual cost thereof plus accrued interest at the rate of six percent per year from the date of the completion of the work, if not paid by the owner prior thereof, shall become a civil debt owed to the city. [Ord. 8573 § 15(V)(3), 1977].

10.60.250 Abatement by city – Recorded statement constitutes lien.

Where the full amount due the city is not paid by the owner within 30 days after the disposal of the litter, as provided for in BMC 10.60.220 and 10.60.230, then, and in that case, the city may cause to be recorded in the Whatcom County auditor’s office, courthouse, Bellingham, Washington, a sworn statement showing the costs and expense incurred for the work, the date the work was done, and the location of the property on which the work was done. The recordation of such sworn statement shall constitute a lien and privilege on the property and shall remain in full force and effect for the amount due in principal and interest, plus costs of court, if any, for collection, until final payment has been made. The costs and expenses shall be collected in the manner fixed by law for the collection of civil debts owed to the city. Sworn statements recorded in accordance with the provisions of this section shall be prima facie evidence that all legal formalities have been complied with and that the work has been done properly and satisfactorily, and shall be full notice to every person concerned that the amount of the statement, plus interest, constitutes a charge against the property designated or described in the statement and that the same is due and collectible as provided by law. [Ord. 8573 § 15(V)(4), 1977].

10.60.260 Receptacles and bags required.

It is unlawful for persons who own or operate any establishment or public place to have less than the minimum or an insufficient number of litter receptacles as required by this chapter. Litter bags are required in all automobiles and watercraft. [Ord. 8573 § 15(W), 1977].

10.60.270 Responsibility to procure and place receptacles.

It is the responsibility of any person owning or operating any establishment or public place, in which litter receptacles are required by this chapter, to procure, place, and maintain such receptacles at their own expense on the premises in accordance with the provisions of this chapter. [Ord. 8573 § 15(X), 1977].

10.60.280 Receptacles – Certain placements required.

A. Litter receptacles meeting the standards established by this chapter shall be placed in the following public places in the city:

1. Along public highways lying within the limits of the city;

2. Parks;

3. Campgrounds;

4. Trailer park facilities for transient habitation;

5. Drive-in restaurants;

6. Gasoline service stations;

7. Tavern parking lots;

8. Shopping centers;

9. Grocery store parking lots;

10. Marinas;

11. Boat launching areas;

12. Boat moorage and fueling stations;

13. Public and private piers;

14. Beaches and bathing areas;

15. Outdoor parking lots, other than those specifically designated in this section, having a capacity of more than 50 automobiles;

16. Fairgrounds;

17. Schoolgrounds;

18. Racetracks;

19. Sporting event sites with seating capacity for more than 200 spectators;

20. Sites for carnivals, festivals, circuses, shows, or events of any kind to which the public is invited;

21. Business district sidewalks.

B. Litter receptacles need be placed in the public places designed in subsection (A) of this section only during times such places or events held at them are open to the public.

C. Placement of litter receptacles shall be in conformance with laws, ordinances, resolutions, and regulations pertaining to fire, safety, public health, or welfare. [Ord. 8573 § 15(Y), 1977].

10.60.290 Receptacles – Number required.

A. The minimum numbers of receptacles meeting the standards established by this chapter and required in public places listed in BMC 10.60.280 are as follows:

1. Along public highways lying within the limits of the city: one receptacle at each rest area, view point, or similar turnout officially designated as such by the city;

2. Parks, campgrounds, and trailer park facilities for transient habitation: one receptacle at each public restroom facility, and one receptacle at each established trailhead giving access by foot, motorcycle, bicycle or similar trail for excursion or exploration out of or away from the central activity area;

3. Gasoline service stations: one receptacle per gasoline pump island;

4. Drive-in restaurants, tavern parking lots, shopping centers, grocery store parking lots, and outdoor parking lots having a capacity of more than 25 automobiles: one receptacle for the first 25 spaces, plus one additional receptacle for each 100 parking spaces in excess of 25 spaces;

5. Marinas, boat launching areas, boating moorage and fueling stations, and public and private piers: one receptacle at each main pier and one at each float;

6. Beaches and bathing areas: one receptacle at each public restroom facility, and one receptacle at each access point officially designated as such by the city;

7. Schoolgrounds: one receptacle at each schoolground bus loading zone officially designated as such by the city;

8. Racetracks and sporting event sites with seating capacity of more than 100 spectators: one receptacle, plus one additional receptacle for each 500 seating capacity in excess of 100;

9. Fairgrounds and sites for carnivals, festivals, circuses, shows, or events of any kind to which the public is invited: one receptacle at each end of walk-through exhibit buildings;

10. Along the sidewalks of business districts of the city: one receptacle per 350 feet of sidewalk curbing.

B. No variance from the provisions of this section shall be allowed except upon the express permission of the city.

C. Notwithstanding the minimum requirements of this section, in any public place in which litter receptacles meeting the standards of this chapter are required that is found to have an accumulation of uncontained litter under circumstances that the person responsible for placing receptacles could have reasonably anticipated, the litter shall be deemed to have an insufficient number of receptacles to be in compliance with this regulation. [Ord. 8573 § 15(Z), 1977].

10.60.300 Receptacles – Minimum standards.

Litter receptacles procured and placed in public places as required by this chapter shall meet the following minimum standards:

A. General Specification.

1. The body of each litter receptacle shall be constructed of a minimum of 24-gauge galvanized metal or other material of equivalent strength that will, with normal wear and tear, reasonably resist corrosion and acts of vandalism.

2. All outside edges of each litter receptacle shall be rounded.

3. Openings in covered litter receptacles shall be readily identifiable and readily accessible for the deposit of litter.

4. Construction and general configuration of litter receptacles shall be in conformance with all pertinent laws, ordinances, resolutions, or regulations pertaining to fire, safety, public health or welfare.

B. Color and Marking.

1. The entire outer surface of each litter receptacle shall be colored medium green conforming with Federal Color Standard No. 595A, Color No. 22424, or Color No. 34424.

2. Each litter receptacle shall bear the official anti-litter symbol as specified by the Department of Ecology. The symbol shall be colored deep blue conforming with Federal Color Standard No. 595A, Color No. 15180. The symbol shall not be distorted as to proportion and shall not be incorporated into commercial advertisement on the receptacle. For litter receptacles along the rights-of-way of public highways, the symbol shall be of a size as to be distinguishable from a minimum distance of 75 feet.

3. The words “Deposit Litter” shall be placed on the litter receptacle. Lettering used for these two words shall be block-type capital letters to be readily legible at a distance of 30 feet.

4. No commercial advertisement shall be placed on any litter receptacle. However, the person owning any receptacle may place a single line on the receptacle identifying this ownership, and a single credit line designating any donor of the litter receptacle other than the owner may also be placed on the receptacle; provided, that the lettering does not exceed the size specified for the words “Deposit Litter,” and does not interfere with or distract from the prominence of the anti-litter symbol.

C. Maintenance. Compliance with these minimum standards shall include proper upkeep, maintenance, and repair of litter receptacles sufficient to permit such receptacles to serve the functions for which they were designed and to prevent the appearance of such receptacles from becoming unsightly. Inadequately maintained or unsightly litter receptacles shall be in violation of these minimum standards.

D. Other Locations. Wherever litter receptacles are placed in any public place other than where required by this chapter, such receptacles shall conform to the provisions of this chapter. [Ord. 8573 § 15(AA), 1977].

10.60.310 Receptacles – Prohibited acts.

A. No person shall damage, deface, abuse, or misuse any litter receptacle not owned by him so as to interfere with its proper function or to detract from its proper appearance.

B. No person shall deposit leaves, clippings, prunings, or gardening refuse in any litter receptacle.

C. No person shall deposit household garbage in any litter receptacle; provided, that this subsection shall not be construed to mean that wastes of food consumed on the premises at any public place may not be deposited in litter receptacles.

D. No person shall deposit garbage, refuse, or rubbish in or near a private receptacle, a contracted-for refuse container, or a private vehicle used to transport garbage, refuse or litter without the permission of the owner or possessor thereof, where such deposit of garbage, refuse or rubbish does or may cause the owner or possessor of said receptacle to suffer an increase above the normal garbage collection fee, or where such deposit is done for the purpose of avoiding a garbage collection fee. [Ord. 8696, 1978; Ord. 8573 § 15(BB), 1977].

10.60.320 Violation – Presumption – Penalty.

A. It is unlawful to violate any provision of this chapter, and any such violation shall constitute a civil infraction.

B. Whenever litter dumped in violation of this chapter contains three or more items bearing the name of one individual, there shall be a rebuttable presumption that the individual whose name appears on such items committed the unlawful act of littering.

C. Any person littering in an amount less than or equal to one cubic foot: the maximum penalty and the default amount shall be $50.00, not including statutory assessments; any person littering in an amount greater than one cubic foot: the maximum penalty and the default amount shall be $250.00, not including statutory assessments. Unless suspended or modified by a court, the person shall also pay a litter cleanup fee of $25.00 per cubic foot of litter. The court may, in addition to or in lieu of part or all of the cleanup fee, order the person to pick up and remove litter from the property, with prior permission of the legal owner or, in the case of public property, of the agency managing the property. [Ord. 10548 § 6, 1994; Ord. 10313 § 5, 1992; Ord. 8573 § 15(CC), 1977].