Hendersonville’s Board of Mayor and Aldermen voted down an ordinance that would have limited the amount of time trash cans can remain at the curb. FILE 

An ordinance that would have limited the amount of time residents’ trash cans can remain at the curb failed to garner enough votes from the city’s Board of Mayor and Aldermen on Tuesday.

The ordinance, proposed by Ward 3 Alderman Russ Edwards, would have required residents who bring their garbage or recycling materials to the curb to do so no earlier than 4 p.m. the day prior to trash pick-up. It would have also required residents to remove their cans or bins from the curb no later than 7 a.m. the day after trash service. 

Those who didn’t comply with the ordinance would have received two warnings before being cited in city court at the cost of a $50 fine plus an additional $100 or so in court fees. The ordinance would have taken effect Oct. 1.

The city is nearing the end of its first of a five-year contract with Waste Pro who provides once-a-week trash pick-up to residents. Although the city is paying for residents to receive a back-door pick-up service, many residents still choose to take their cans to the curb.  

Since the city does provide a back-door service, it hasn’t had an ordinance regulating when cans need to be picked up, Edwards explained during a May 12 BOMA meeting.

He pointed to other cities like Gallatin, Franklin, Murfreesboro, Cookeville and Bartlett that have similar regulations. 

The first-term alderman added several residents – particularly those in neighborhoods not regulated by home owners’ associations – have asked him about proposing a similar ordinance for Hendersonville. 

“A city as nice as Hendersonville really needs to have an ordinance to this effect,” he said.

Although the proposed legislation passed 12 to 1 on first reading two weeks ago, the measure failed to garner the required seven yes votes on Tuesday, failing 6-5-1. 

Several aldermen, including Scott Sprouse of Ward 2 expressed concern about placing an additional restriction on home owners and asking city employees to enforce it during so much uncertainty related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I just don’t think now is the time…. to add an additional law that really is not enforceable,” said Sprouse. 

Pat Campbell, who also represents Ward 2, agreed the time isn’t right to pass an ordinance related to trash service.

“There is so much confusion with trash collection right now,” said Campbell. “Some still think we have twice-a-week pick-up.”

Ward 5 Alderman Jonathan Hayes, who co-sponsored the ordinance, acknowledged the concern that some city ordinances - like the ones that prohibit the feeding of deer or blowing grass clippings in the street - are hard to enforce.

“[However], I think that most citizens will follow the rules,” said Hayes. “This is just a way to improve Hendersonville and the aesthetics.”

Hayes, Edwards, Mark Skidmore of Ward 1, Arlene Cunningham of Ward 3, Andy Bolt of Ward 4, and Eddie Roberson of Ward 6 voted in favor of the ordinance. 

Campbell, Sprouse, Mayor Jamie Clary, Darrell Woodcock of Ward 5 and Jim Waters of Ward 6 voted against it. Ward 1 Alderman Peg Petrelli abstained from the vote. 

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