Council Member Williams: Litter Ordinance unfair to businesses


One Mobile city council member is pushing to change the city’s new litter ordinance. He’s says it’s not fair to some business owners.

The council approved the ordinance on June 25th. The idea is the crack down on people and businesses that contribute to litter in the city.

John Williams was the only council member who voted against the ordinance, and now he’s trying to get it changed.

Mayor Sandy Stimpson insists the new litter ordinance isn’t that much different than the one already on the books.

“We’re making minor changes in the ordinances, in the laws, the major change is going to come in enforcement,” Mayor Stimpson said.

But, Council member John Williams said there is change that could cost some business owners big bucks whether they contribute to litter or not.

“One of the things that the ordinance calls for is an enclosure of dumpsters, and I believe it’s an undo burden on responsible businesses,” Williams said.

Williams said there are many dumpsters throughout the city that are not enclosed. He said he drives pass dozens of them every day, and the area around the dumpsters are always clean.

“I don’t have a problem with a graduated and an ordinance that’s fair, but if a responsible business is not littering they should not incur a burden because the rest of the city is not being responsible,” he said.

Williams estimates it will cost $300 to $1,000 to enclose each dumpster.

Williams was the only council member to vote against the ordinance last week. In order to amend it, he’ll need the votes of at least three others.

“They’re starting to give a little, but I don’t know that I have any commitments at this point,” he said.

Williams said he will keep trying. He said if a commercial dumpster is found to be a litter problem, then the owner could be given a choice to pay the fine or inclose the dumpster. For a second offense the owner would have to pay the fine and enclose the dumpster.

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