Chapter 2. Mandatory Garbage/Solid Waste Disposal

Sec. 5-2.01 Definitions.

For the purpose of this Chapter, certain words are defined as follows:

(a) “Solid waste” means putrescible and non-putrescible solid and semi-solid material. The term solid waste includes garbage, refuse, trash, rubbish, kitchen or table food waste, animal or vegetable waste; tree, shrub or bush trimmings; newspapers or magazines; ashes, papers or cardboard; tin or aluminum cans; yard clippings, wood, glass, bedding, crockery, plastics or rubber by-products; litter, animal excrement, demolition and construction waste, discarded home and industrial appliances, and industrial waste not requiring specialized handling and disposal procedures.

(b) “Recyclable materials” means and includes all waste materials which may be commercially reprocessed for beneficial use which are disposed of for recycling purposes. These may include, but are not limited to metals, paper-based materials, glass and oils.

(c) “Recycling Center” means a location in the City of Hercules whereby community residents may deliver recyclable materials for reclamation.

(d) “Collector” means the person having a contract or franchise agreement with the City of Hercules for the collection and disposal of solid waste.

(e) “Owner” means the person who is listed as having title to property by the latest property tax assessment rolls maintained by the Contra Costa County Assessor.

(f) “Premises” means any real property interest or estate which may be demised or granted by deed. The word premises includes tracts, lots or parcels, single-family residences, townhouses, condominiums, multi-family dwellings, apartments, flats, duplexes, boarding or lodging homes, restaurants, hotels or motels, commercial establishments or any parcel of land upon which a building or business is located.

(g) “Person” means any corporation, association, syndicate, joint stock company, partnership, club, society, individual or public entity. (Ord. 239 Div. 1 (part), 1986)

Sec. 5-2.02 Keeping of Solid Waste Prohibited.

It shall be unlawful for any person to place, deposit, keep, bury or allow the accumulation of any solid waste on, in, or under any premises for a period in excess of seven (7) days, except recyclable materials may be retained for reclamation purposes so long as said materials are not a health or safety hazard. (Ord. 239 Div. 1 (part), 1986)

Sec. 5-2.03 Depositing Solid Waste in Sewers.

It shall be unlawful for any person to deposit any solid waste in any City sewer or plumbing fixture or pipe connected thereto, except through a mechanical device which shreds or grinds solid waste material. (Ord. 239 Div. 1 (part), 1986)

Sec. 5-2.04 Placing Solid Waste on Streets or Sidewalks.

It shall be unlawful for any person to throw, place, scatter or deposit or cause to be thrown, placed, scattered, or deposited upon any street, sidewalk, alley or public place in the City, any solid waste, except that a property owner or person in possession or control of the property may place properly packaged materials at the curb for scheduled removal of the same. (Ord. 239 Div. 1 (part), 1986)

Sec. 5-2.05 Burning of Solid Waste.

It shall be unlawful for any person to burn any solid waste within the City, except as authorized by the City Manager. (Ord. 239 Div. 1 (part), 1986)

Sec. 5-2.06 Receptacles Required.

It shall be the duty of every owner of every premises to maintain receptacles for receiving and holding all the solid waste produced, created or accumulated upon said premises between the times for the collection of the solid waste, and to deposit all such solid waste therein. In the case of owners of single or multiple residential dwelling premises, excepting owners whose multiple residential dwelling premises are served by disposal boxes and not individual receptacles for each residential unit, such receptacles shall be provided by the collector. All such receptacles shall be kept in sanitary condition at all times and shall not be placed within the limits of any street or any public place in the City. (Ord. 347 § 1 (part), 1998: Ord. 239 Div. 1 (part), 1986)

Sec. 5-2.07 Solid Waste Collection Service Required.

It shall be the duty of every owner of each and every premises in the City to subscribe to and pay for the solid waste collection service described herein if said premises is occupied. Where garbage receptacles are to be used in common, for example, in a multi-residential or commercial complex, the owner, or authorized agent of the owner in control of said premises, shall subscribe to and pay for solid waste collection service and shall provide a suitable number of garbage receptacles to receive and hold, without overflowing, all solid wastes produced, created, or accumulated. (Ord. 239 Div. 1 (part), 1986)

Sec. 5-2.08 Failure to Subscribe.

(a) Any person failing to subscribe for the collection and disposal of solid waste as required by this Chapter shall be guilty of an infraction and subject to the penalties as set forth in Title 1, Section 1-4.01.

(b) The owner of each premises shall subscribe for garbage/solid waste disposal services within seven (7) days of the occupancy of the premises. If the owner fails to start service, the Collector shall give the owner written notification that such service is required. If service is not initiated within fifteen (15) days from the date of mailing of the notice, then the Collector shall initiate and continue service for the owner, unless an owner, in writing, can substantiate to the Collector that a common-use receptacle in a multi-unit complex is available and there is a subscription for collection of the solid waste.

Sec. 5-2.09 Collector Entitled to Payment.

The Collector shall be entitled to payment from the owner for any collection services rendered by the Collector. Any fees which remain unpaid for collection services for a period of five (5) months or more after the date upon which said services were billed, or sixty (60) days or more after notification by the owner to stop services because the premises are being vacated, may be collected thereafter by the cities as provided herein.

(a) Once a year, or more often as the Council deems appropriate, the City Council shall cause to be prepared a report of delinquent accounts. Information concerning delinquent accounts shall be provided by the Collector. The information shall include evidence that the Collector has mailed the owner a final request for payment for the amounts owed, which may include the month during which the notice was mailed, and a warning notice to pay the collection charges within thirty (30) days or they will be turned over to the City for the commencement of lien proceedings for the amount of such delinquent fees, plus reasonable administrative charges.

(b) In addition to the information as set forth in subsection (a) of this section, the report shall include the parcel number of the real property, the name or names of the owner of the real property for which the service was provided on the most recent property assessment rolls of the County Assessor, the address of the property served, the period of service, and the amounts due including reasonable administrative charges, which administrative charges shall be as determined by the Director of Finance. The City Council shall fix a time, date and place for hearing the report, and any objections or protests thereto, as soon as is practicable after receipt of said report.

(c) The City Council shall cause notice of the hearing to be mailed to the owners listed on the report not less than ten (10) days prior to the date of the hearing.

(d) At the hearing the City Council shall hear any objections or protests of owners liable to be assessed for delinquent fees and administrative charges. The City Council may make such revisions or corrections to the report as it deems just, after which, by resolution, the report shall be confirmed.

(e) The delinquent fees and charges set forth in the report as confirmed shall constitute special assessments against the respective parcels of land and are a lien on the property for the amount of such delinquent fees and charges. A certified copy of the confirmed report shall thereafter be filed with the County Auditor for the amounts of the respective assessments against the respective parcels of land as they appear on the current assessment roll. The lien created attaches upon recordation, in the office of the County Recorder of the County of Contra Costa, of a certified copy of the resolution of confirmation. The assessment may be collected at the same time and in the same manner as ordinary County ad valorem property taxes are collected and shall be subject to the same penalties and the same procedure and sale in the case of delinquency as provided for such taxes. All laws applicable to the levy, collection and enforcement of County ad valorem property taxes shall be applicable to such assessment, except that if any real property to which such lien would attach has been transferred or conveyed to a bona fide purchaser for value, or if a lien of a bona fide encumbrancer for value has been created and attaches thereon, prior to the date in which the first installment of such taxes would become delinquent, then the lien which would otherwise be imposed by this section shall not attach to such real property and the delinquent fees, as confirmed, relating to such property shall be transferred to the unsecured roll for collection.

The Collector may charge the City, at the established collection rates, for those owners who are delinquent. Said charges shall cover the period during which the Collector provided collection and disposal services for the delinquent owner. The City shall not become liable to pay such charges until the charges have been assessed against the owner and the County has disbursed funds covering said charges. (Ord. 239 Div. 1 (part), 1986)

Sec. 5-2.10 Unauthorized Collection Prohibited.

The collection, removal, and disposal of solid waste may be performed by the City, or by any person with whom the City has entered into a contract or franchise agreement for the collection, removal, and disposal thereof, except that residents may dispose of recyclable materials at the Recycling Center for reclamation. It is hereby declared unlawful to remove, convey, or cause to be removed or conveyed any solid waste, including recyclable materials, upon or along any street or alley or any other public place in the City except in conveyances, containers, bins or receptacles that will not permit any waste material to sift or leak through, or fall upon City streets, alleys, highways or waterways. Solid waste conveyed in other than a container or receptacle with a close-fitting lid, or conveyed in containers in accordance with approved methods by state or federal law, shall be protected with covers to prevent the solid waste from being blown or spilled onto the streets, alleys, highways, waterways, or adjacent lands. (Ord. 239 Div. 1 (part), 1986)

Sec. 5-2.11 Inspection of Refuse Collection Vehicles.

The City Council shall designate a person whose duty it shall be to inspect all vehicles used in the collection and disposal of solid waste and see that the same are kept clean and sanitary, and also all places where solid waste are deposited, and to see that all provisions of this Chapter and all health laws of the City of Hercules are faithfully complied with, and, as feasible, that the applicable laws of the State of California and of the federal government are complied with. (Ord. 23c Div. 1 (part), 1986)

Sec. 5-2.12 Contracts for Solid Waste Collection.

(a) The City Council may enter into a contract or franchise agreement with any person(s) for the collection of solid waste. Such contract or franchise agreement may be revoked by the City Council for non-compliance with the provisions of said contract or franchise agreement or for violation of the provisions of this Chapter or any pertinent federal, state or local law.

(b) The rates to be charged for solid waste collection and disposal service shall be as established from time to time by resolution of the City Council. (Ord. 239 Div. 1 (part), 1986)

Sec. 5-2.13 Interference with Collection Prohibited.

It shall be unlawful for any person in any manner to interfere with the collection, removal, or disposal of solid waste by the authorized collector. (Ord. 23S Div. 1 (part), 1986)

Sec. 5-2.14 Nuisance Abatement Required.

No person, firm or corporation shall have or permit upon any premises owned, occupied or controlled by him, any nuisance detrimental to health, or any accumulation of filth, garbage or decaying material, animal or vegetable matter, or any animal or human excrement, and it shall be the duty of the Health Officer of the City to cause any such person, firm or corporation to be notified to abolish and abate such nuisance and remove said matter. In case said person, firm or corporation shall fail, neglect or refuse to remove the same within one (1) day after receiving such notice, such nuisance may be abolished and abated, and such matter removed under and by order of the Health Officer, and the person, firm or corporation whose duty is to abolish or abate said nuisance, or remove said matter, in addition to incurring the penalties in this Chapter provided, shall become indebted to the City for any sum expended by the City for the removal of said matter. (Ord. 239 Div. 1 (part), 1986)

Sec. 5-2.15 Rate and Receptacle Disputes.

In all cases where disputes arise as to the rate charged or to be charged for any service provided in these provisions, or the number or kind of receptacle(s) to be used, the matter shall be referred to the Director of Finance in the City of Hercules and the Director of Finance shall, upon due investigation, determine and fix such rate and receptacle requirement as he may deem just and equitable. The determination of the Director of Finance shall be final. (Ord. 239 Div. 1 (part), 1986)

Sec. 5-2.16 Exceptions.

Nothing in this Chapter shall be deemed to prohibit any of the following:

(a) The keeping and use of solid wastes in the operation of a compost facility which has been approved by the City Council;

(b) The burying of solid wastes at a solid waste disposal facility;

(c) The placing, depositing, keeping, and disposal of solid wastes at a recycling center which has been approved by the City Council;

(d) Waste to energy recycling which has been approved by the City Council. (Ord. 239 Div. 1 (part), 1986)