AIKEN - The first thing Chris Safley does when she gets home from work on garbage day is take her trash can and recycling bin from the curb to her house.
If her husband beats her home, he does it.
"It makes it simple," she said, standing in the back yard of her Crosland Park home.
Other city residents can borrow the Safleys' method or devise a plan of their own, but after Monday night, garbage cans and recycling bins can't be taken to the curb more than 24 hours before pickup or left more than 24 hours afterward.
The Aiken City Council voted 5-2 to enact the ordinance. Violators will be warned by letter of the potential to be fined, City Manager Roger LeDuc said.
The council did not draft specific penalties, though the city has settled past trash issues in court. Mr. LeDuc said the ordinance gives code enforcers "a little more ammunition."
The city addressed the issue after residents from the Crosland Park neighborhood complained, Mr. LeDuc said. Officials counted more than 60 garbage cans or recycling bins in the neighborhood that were left curbside for several days after pickup.
In come cases, residents leave bins on the street and bring garbage and recyclables curbside at pickup time.
"We're trying to revitalize this area," said Rachel Sharp, the treasurer of Crosland Park's neighborhood association. "When you go by and see this stuff sitting out there, it takes away from the neighborhood."
Eugene England, in a letter to the council, disagreed with the ordinance. He leaves his recyclables curbside when he goes on vacation and picks the bins up after returning, said Mayor Fred Cavanaugh, reading the letter aloud.
Council members Don Sprawls and Lessie Price voted against the ordinance. Both argued it was unnecessary.
"There are more important laws" that could be created, Mrs. Price said. "We have serious crime."
Recycling is voluntary, Mr. Sprawls noted.
"I can't see writing a ticket for something they don't have to do," he said.
Concerned resident Ernest Hickman was met with applause after speaking on behalf of the ordinance.
"Everybody should be interested in keeping Aiken clean and green," he said.
"We're trying to revitalize this area. When you go by and see this stuff sitting out there, it takes away from the neighborhood." - Rachel Sharp, the treasurer of Crosland Park's neighborhood association
Reach Josh Gelinas at (803)279-6895 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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