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Meeting Date: May 9, 2000

Subject/Title: Placement of Garbage Dumpsters in City Alleyways

Submitted by: Jon Elam, City Manager

Approved by: Jon Elam, City Manager


Consideration of the following options regarding the placement of garbage dumpsters:

Option One

No dumpsters would be allowed in the public right-of-way of alleys or streets. In order to avoid creating a hardship with the four existing businesses that currently locate their dumpsters in the public right-of-way, the City would provide a three month window to find a suitable location for the dumpsters and the City would provide an interest free loan to develop alternative enclosed garbage storage.

Option Two

The City Council agrees that private dumpsters can be located in the City public alleyway. They cannot be located within 50' feet of entrance or exit spots to the alleyway. To receive permission, any business must apply for a City encroachment permit that would spell out the exact dimensions for the location of the dumpster and provide the City a release of liability for the dumpster location. Additional responsibilities will include maintaining the dumpster site by keeping it swept up and clean.

Option Three

The City Council supports the existing program of allowing dumpsters in alleyways without any permits.


The City Council at its April 11, 2000 meeting referred the issue of the placement of City garbage dumpsters in public alleyways in the downtown area to the Solid Waste Sub-Committee. The sub-committee met (minus one member) on April 24, 2000.


The issue of garbage dumpster locations has gotten increasingly difficult to resolve. Both the City Council and the sub-committee have listened to and met with each party that has a dumpster located in downtown. All parties positions have remaind the same after these meetings as they were before.

Why the issue is before you: The staff brought this forward for policy direction because of the emerging conflicts between two businesses. The location of one business’ dumpster is adjacent to another business’ building. Previously existing dumpsters were all located adjacent to the businesses that used the dumpster. In addition, as staff researched this further, the issue of legal liability arose because these private dumpsters are located full time in the right-of-way. Alleys are 13 feet wide downtown. The dumpster uses up approximately three feet narrowing the drive through lanes considerably.

Other related issues include the appearance of the alleyway by having dumpsters in them. In fact, just four businesses have the dumpsters located in the entire downtown area. The City has received complaints that dumpsters are receptacles for public dumping and that on occasion waste blows out of the dumpsters into and onto adjacent properties. While staff appreciate this issue, it is a different one to sort out and recognize this will not be easily resolved. We do not feel that by leaving the issue as-is will serve as any long-term solution. Thus, the issue is returned to the City with several options as suggested by the Council Solid Waste Sub-Committee.

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