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Bill to give condos rebates for trash collection passes Council, may or may not be enforced by city

A bill passed by Council today would grant condo owners who decline city trash pickup a tax rebate of up to $200.

As we explained last month, the city offers weekly trash collection, but it's not enough for many condos due to their volume of residents. Consequently, many hire private trash haulers and decline the city's service. But they pay the same taxes as the rest of us trash pickup mooches.

Councilman Jim Kenney didn't think this was fair, and wrote a bill to address the issue. The vote was 12-5.

When we called up condo-dweller Leonard Kornit for his thoughts, he greeted us by saying, "Did you hear the good news?"

Not everyone is feeling so cheerful. City Paper quotes Councilman Bill Green saying the bill is "bad policy."

"This is a refund of tax dollars for a service that is not taken advantage of by citizens," he said. "What about citizens who don't use the school system or police or fire?"

Another concern: The bill isn't cheap. it'll cost the city almost $6 million a year, if implemented.

It's too soon to tell if the administration will implement the bill (i.e., actually give the rebates), mayoral spokesman Mark McDonald said, though the administration has been vocal in its opposition.

Kornit, while pleasantly surprised, is wary of getting too excited. He points to the contentious history of condo trash pickup bills in our city.

In 2002, Council passed a bill requiring the city to pick up trash from condos, but Mayor John Street refused to implement it. In retaliation, Council sued the city to force Street to implement the bill and won.

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