The Lancaster Village Board on Monday approved some modifications to its new ordinance requiring that all garbage placed at curbside be stored in containers with lids.
The board approved the ordinance last month in response to a growing problem with rats in the village's north end. However, Village Attorney Arthur A. Herdzik said he drafted an addendum to the law so that it would not conflict with the Town of Lancaster's recycling provisions.
"We did have to have some exclusions. Some of the stuff could not fit into garbage cans. Also, if we didn't have the exclusions, those using the recycling bins would be violating our own ordinance," Herdzik explained.
Village residents receive trash- and recycling-collection services through a private waste hauler contracted by the town. Before the village's new ordinance was modified, recyclable materials, such as cartons and cardboard boxes, would have been classified as garbage, requiring that they also be placed in covered containers at curbside. Now such items, as well as brush and newspapers, are excluded from the ordinance, which also excludes discarded refrigerators and washing machines.
"The town does describe large appliances as recyclables," Herdzik said.
Village Mayor William G. Cansdale said he and Trustee Gary J. Ambrose met last month with Peter J. Tripi, Erie County's chief rodent-control officer, to discuss proactive ways to avoid the rat problem that has been occurring in other communities in the county, including Cheektowaga, Amherst and the Town of Tonawanda, since Buffalo began using tipper totes to deal with its rodent problem.
"It's been very interesting to learn about rodent behavior and what is going to be necessary on behalf of the Village Board in order to make it less of a problem," Cansdale said after Monday's meeting.
"What we're going to be doing after [Jan. 1] is . . . an informative mailer. We're going to mail a flier to each village residence outlining the ordinance, other information about rodent control and what they can do to eliminate rats in their neighborhood, and just how they have to store their garbage."
The mayor said the Village Board could not adopt an ordinance to purchase tipper totes such as those being used in Buffalo, the Town of Tonawanda and Kenmore. Since the Town of Lancaster provides waste collection for village residents, that would be up to the Town Board, Cansdale said.