Categories Op/Ed

Letter to the Editor: Elizabethtown’s Proposed Trash Ordinance Has Excessive Fines

Elizabethtown Borough has released the proposed ordinance revising the sections of the municipal code relating to trash and recycling. The revisions are in response to a county-wide change of the materials that can be accepted for recycling by the Lancaster County Solid Waste Management Authority. This is just a matter of procedure to update the code for alignment with LCSWMA policies.

However, what has come to light is the Borough’s Quick Ticket procedures. It seems that the procedures primarily used to ensure safe properties and buildings have been cut and pasted from the enforcement section of the municipal code into our trash and recycling ordinance. Yes, the means of code enforcement have always been there but one must ask why the Borough would replicate the Quick Ticket procedures in the trash and recycling section. Is this a set up for what is to come?

More concerning is the proposed range of penalties for violating the trash and recycling ordinance. A Quick Ticket may result in a $200 to $1,000 fine, plus legal costs and up to 30 days’ imprisonment. In comparison one could park their car sideways on the curb for less of a fee. “I’m sorry, your honor — I promise I won’t put newspaper in the recycling can.”

One would not expect the code to be enforced to such an extreme measure but we only need to look to our neighbors in Columbia for an example of how Quick Ticketing for minor infractions can be employed.

TIMOTHY RUNKLE

Elizabethtown

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