Residents Face Big Fines for Extra Trash

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CLEVELAND - There is a lot of trash talking in one west side neighborhood.

"One extra can of recyclables was worth a $100 ticket to the city of Cleveland," resident Carol Bircher said.

Bircher and others say the city of Cleveland is slapping residents with excessive fines for setting out even one extra bag or can of garbage or recyclables.

"We put out both cans and we had extra recyclables, so we put it in another garbage can and I got a ticket - a $100 ticket for putting out the extra can," Bircher said.

In this area near W. 143rd St., residents get one blue can for recyclables and one grey garbage can for trash.

The automated trash trucks can only pick up these specific cans.

Charles Hoover said one garbage can is not enough for his family.

He admits he was warned last month that he could be fined for having extra trash, but he thinks $100 is too steep.

"I open up the ticket and it's a $100 fine for having this one extra garbage can on my tree lawn," Hoover said, "I have a family of four and I think it's hard to fit every week into one trash can."

Fox 8 News put in a request for an interview with a city official about the trash fines, but were told there was no one available by our deadline.

However, a city spokeswoman emailed us and said they do not normally ticket people for extra recycling, and they can give people another garbage can if they regularly have a lot of trash.

Cleveland started stricter trash enforcement about a year ago.

According to the city's website, one purpose of the crack-down is to stop people from putting out excessive trash.

"We pay eight dollars a month for these cans and we also pay taxes for our trash to get picked up," Hoover said.

"I don't think it's fair,” Bircher said.

Both said they will be fighting the tickets.