Louisville residents who violate yard waste regulation could soo - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Louisville residents who violate yard waste regulation could soon be fined

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Nice weather this weekend means many property owners plan to do some mowing, clipping and cleaning in the yard.

But for Louisville residents, there are new rules about how to get rid of that yard waste.

This is the first yard waste season since a new regulation banning the use of plastic bags took effect in January. It was passed in May 2014 by the Louisville Jefferson County Solid Waste Management District, and enforcement began Jan. 1, 2015. 

Jim Wilson owns seven properties in Louisville, and cares for all of them himself.

"I'm a nature person," Wilson said, as he raked leaves at one of his homes in the Chickasaw neighborhood. "Love to be outside. Love to work in the yard."

It means lots of yard waste, but Wilson says he tries to be conscious of the environment.

"The leaves and all of this, I'll take it and mulch it up and put it on one of my gardens; use it as fertilizer there," he said.

Mayor Greg Fischer wants more Louisvillians to think that way. He says plastic bags make it impossible to separate yard waste for recycling, so he reminded property owners of the new law.

"If yard waste is put out in plastic bags, it's not going to be picked up," he said.

Fischer says before the ban went into effect, 32,000 tons of yard waste went into the landfill every year, filling up space and costing taxpayer dollars.

"And the rule applies whether you live in the inner part of Louisville, known as the old Urban Service District, or a smaller city or subdivision anywhere here in Jefferson County," said Fischer.

There are alternatives, such as composting, mulching, re-usable waste containers, paper bags and compostable plastic.

"These compostable plastic bags are generally clear or translucent green. Compostable plastic bags are never black," said Keith Hackett, Metro Louisville Director of Solid Waste.

The mayor says 85 percent of homes are already complying. Those who don't are subject to a $100 fine.

"We don't want to cite people, but it if they're not going to be good citizens and citizens, we will," said Fischer.

Jim Wilson says he has no problem with the new regulations, but he admits he doesn't like paper bags when they get wet.

"You know, the bottom is going to fall out of it, so you'll have a mess on your hands there. But I guess it's the thing to do to stay environmentally friendly," he said.

The mayor is also concerned about another kind of waste; the litter left behind by the snow and flooding. He's asking everyone to help by taking part in a city-wide cleanup day on April 18.

More information about the cleanup, which is part of the mayor's Give A Day week, is available at http://www.mygiveaday.com/.

More details about how to reduce yard waste volume are available at www.lelelouisville.com.

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