Committee won’t bag proposed trash ordinance

By Marlena Hartz: CNJ staff writer

A Clovis committee dedicated to beautifying the city is not giving up on an ordinance that would require residents and businesses to bag trash before throwing it in dumpsters.

City commissioners last week rejected a trash-bagging ordinance crafted by Clovis Pride amid concerns it would be too difficult to enforce.

“Who would enforce this? How would we determine what residence (the trash) came from?” City Commissioner Fred Van Soelen said at the commission meeting. “I don’t see the point in passing an ordinance that is unenforceable.”

Mayor David Lansford disagreed. He said the ordinance could be enforced “in instances where there are obvious abuses.”

Near the Clovis landfill, there is trash “all over,” Lansford said, “and it’s a disgrace. (Trash) occupies every chain-link fence in town.”

Commissioners directed Clovis Pride to revise the ordinance for consideration at a later date.

Clovis Pride Executive Coordinator Rob Carter said committee members will discuss a revised ordinance at a mid-December meeting.

The intent of the ordinance will likely remain the same, according to city officials. But commissioners said they want it to be easier to enforce.

The ordinance considered last week would have required all garbage, trash, and small rubbish be placed in a securely tied plastic bag, according to a copy of the ordinance. Papers, the ordinance commanded, could be placed in a cardboard box or tied in bundles weighing no more than 25 pounds.

The ordinance defined trash as paper, rags, old clothing, paper containers, wood, rubber, plastic, boxes, barrels and coats.

Violators could be fined up to $500 or imprisoned for up to 90 days, a copy of the ordinance reads.

Clovis Pride has about 30 members, according to Carter. The committee is funded through a small grant from a similar state entity, New Mexico Clean and Beautiful, and is an affiliate of Keep America Beautiful, he said.