Champaign City Council seeks tougher laws for garbage bins

By Eric Heisig

The city of Champaign may soon be enforcing stricter laws about garbage and the receptacles they are held in.

During Tuesday night’s study session, the Champaign City Council voted 7-0 to send a plan back to the city staff that would create more strict requirements for Dumpsters and garbage enclosures. The requirements would force property owners to create enclosures for Dumpsters in order to reduce the number of unsecured Dumpsters that roll into the street and into public areas.

“It has improved in the last few years, but it is still going to be a problem,” said Kevin Phillips, zoning administrator.

The plan with this study session was to have the Council amend the city’s Zoning Ordinance with clearer language in some sections and to take action to reduce garbage pileup in and around the city’s Dumpsters.

The main issue with the new regulations, however, would concern the issuance of waivers. The proposed waivers would allow property owners to not comply with the new regulations as much as may in fact be possible.

Get The Daily Illini in your inbox!

  • Catch the latest on University of Illinois news, sports, and more. Delivered every weekday.
  • Stay up to date on all things Illini sports. Delivered every Monday.
This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.
Thank you for subscribing!

“I do not see any objective criteria for the waiver process,” said David Meyer, owner of Church Street Square. “When you leave it subjective, you are going to be leaving a lot of property owners with a lot of hard feelings.”

Dist. 4 Council member Marci Dodds said she agreed there needed to be a good way to objectively give out waivers, because there will be quite a few areas in Champaign that will need them.

Still, Dodds said she was in favor of changing the Zoning Ordinance.

“I think it is long overdue, and this plan provides a nice and reasonable balance,” Dodds said.

Dist. 2 Council member Michael La Due also said he was in favor of the plan, because of the way the current laws are set up. Under Champaign codes in place, property owners are not fined if garbage is found around their Dumpsters. Instead, they are issued a nuisance abatement, which is lifted when the trash is removed.

“It seems to address the symptoms, but not the problems,” said assistant city manager Dorothy Ann David.

Champaign City Council meets every Tuesday at 7 p.m. in the City Building.