To combat a rodent issue, the Village of Hamburg is enforcing its policy that residents must entirely close their issued garbage totes before trash pickup.
On the Village of Hamburg's website, the tote placement guidelines state, "tote lids should be closed and not overflowing... enforcement action will be increased and you may be subject to fines."
And now, the village is cracking down on those who don't follow the policy by issuing penalties to repeat offenders.
A ticket that is distributed to offenders states that the first violation will result in a warning, however the second violation will result in a $50 fine. The third and fourth violations carry $100 and $200 penalties, respectively. All violations must occur within 12 months of the first violation; after that time frame the violation count resets.
The garbage totes are monitored by a village foreman who makes rounds every weekday morning in the areas that are due for garbage pickup that day. If the foreman sees a violation, he will stop, take a picture of the garbage tote and tape a warning to the bin.
Not all residents are happy with this enforcement method. One family who didn't want to be named has received a warning for their garbage lid being ajar.
However, they said it wasn't their trash.
They live next to a park, and they said people leave waste in their garbage cans before their trash day on Monday.
They also claimed their trash lid was barely open when they got their first violation notice. However, it was enough for a rodent to be able to enter the bin, according to the warning they received.
Village of Hamburg mayor Tom Moses said he would not like to have to fine residents, but he hopes the enforcement procedure changes behaviors and helps work against the rodent problem.
"We're not picking on you by any means," Moses said. "However, we're looking out for the safety and the welfare of the entire community."