By DUSTIN RACIOPPI
The snow is just about melted away, and while that erases a lingering reminder of the pain from this winter, another icky problem is revealing itself in Red Bank.
Trash. Lots of it.
And Red Bank isn’t going to let it stick around, nor will it take a lenient approach to the people putting it out there, officials indicated Monday night.
Council President Art Murphy sent out a warning to businesses and residents, who he said have taken liberty with the borough’s trash containers on the sidewalks downtown, leading to overflowing cans and streets littered with waste.
“We had a tough winter, the snow is melting and there’s a lot of trash out there,” he said. “We do have a problem with tenants above a commercial property using our cans. I’ve seen some of the people from the businesses go out and throw their little white bag in the garbage.”
Murphy said this is a problem that seems to crop up every year about this time, but this year the accumulation of garbage is more than usual, with cans flowing over with residential and commercial trash, cigarette butts scattered on the sidewalks and debris floating downtown.
“Every year we have to remind everybody. Every now and then it strays and it gets out of hand,” he said. “Then we have to open up that chapter and say, ‘Hey, listen, if it’s outside your store, clean it up.'”
Code enforcers will crack down on businesses and residents who are using the municipal cans for their personal use, he said. Mayor Pasquale Menna said the ordinance, requiring that property owners keep their sidewalks clean, includes a nominal fine.
But Murphy said issuing a summons to property owners and tenants isn’t for any other purpose than to keep the downtown from looking like a dumping ground.
“We will be enforcing that rule and we will be enforcing out there on the sidewalks,” he said. “It’s not for the revenue. It’s because we have a problem and the problem will be enforced.”