Cities step up trash enforcement as students return
CHAMPAIGN — They're back.
Thursday is the official move-in day for new students at the University of Illinois, although returning students have been moving in all week — and they are generating trash.
Lots of packaging, bags or furniture that is not needed will end up in apartment courtyards or next to the Dumpster as students return for the fall semester. That means the cities of Champaign and Urbana are stepping up enforcement of overflowing Dumpsters and large accumulations of garbage this week and next.
"Actually, things have been going pretty smooth so far," said Jason Arrasmith, Urbana's environmental control officer. But he expects a little more trash to start piling up as students return in droves at the end of this week and into the weekend.
City code requires property owners to keep their houses and apartment complexes generally free of trash and make sure garbage stays in the Dumpsters.
If Urbana city officials spot a violation, they will give the property owner a 48-hour notice to clean it up. If they return and the garbage is still there, the city will have it cleaned up and then charge the property owner for the cost of the work, plus a fine and administrative fee.
The procedures are similar in Champaign, although it is only 24 hours' initial notice. Champaign will bill property owners for the work plus a $100 administrative fee, but there is no fine attached to the violation.
Champaign city officials are also hosting recycling events this week and next to collect cardboard that does not fit in the blue "Feed The Thing" recycling toters that are placed outside apartment buildings.
Anyone with cardboard to get rid of can take it to any one of several locations.
On Aug. 22 and 23:
— East Chalmers Street between Fourth and Fifth streets
— East Armory Avenue between Third and Fourth streets
From Aug. 23 through Aug. 27:
— South Sixth Street between White and Stoughton streets
— South Third Street between Springfield Avenue and Healey Street
— East Healey Street between Fourth and Fifth streets
— East Chalmers Street between First and Second streets
— East Chalmers Street between Third and Fourth streets.