The residential portion of Kenmore's revised garbage law requiring covered trash containers went into effect Tuesday, but some residents still are putting out trash in plastic bags alone.
So far, village employees have issued about 400 courtesy warnings to residents who are breaking the new law.
Mayor John W. Beaumont said the village has temporarily tacked on the courtesy warning to its schedule of fines for noncompliance, since the law is new.
The law will be fully enforced starting Dec. 1.
"We are giving out these warnings in hopes that our message is loud and clear," he said.
Gus Farkas, chairman of Kenmore Neighborhood Watch, said that there was some confusion among residents about the law. He said some of them were not sure when it was going to begin, who was responsible for buying the containers and what kind should be purchased.
"There was a misconception that the village was going to supply residents with the containers," he said. "People are OK with buying them. If this is going to help the village and cure the rat problem, people are more than happy to do it."
The revision calls for metal or high-quality vinyl or plastic containers with covers for residential areas. Yard waste, such as grass clippings and leaves, still could be set out in clear garbage bags, which the village will be selling to residents at a reduced price.
Beaumont said 75 percent of residents have bought the proper containers and many of them already had them before the changes to the law.
Farkas said some residents have raised concerns about senior citizens' ability to push the containers to and from the curbs. Beaumont said the village is offering residents who are physically unable to handle the containers the free service of "roll out and roll back." So far, 15 people have been verified as eligible for that service. "This is a government that's going to do everything and anything to help people comply," he said.
The commercial and multiple-dwelling end of the law will take effect in January. It requires business and apartment buildings with three or more units to purchase containers from the village.
Also under the new rules, residential and commercial containers can go curbside after 4 p.m. on the day before the pickup.
Starting Dec. 1, the first violation draws a written warning with an explanation. The second within a year calls for a fine of $50 to $100; and the third, $100 to $150. Every fine after that within the same year is $150 to $300.
The schedule of fines is the same for residential and commercial properties.