New Haven to use trash haulers’ GPS data to enforce noise complaints

NEW HAVEN – Have you ever been woken up by garbage trucks banging around dumpsters before the sun comes up?

The city has not been able to enforce its Noise Abatement Ordinance in relation to morning tours by commercial garbage hauliers for years, as city officials are rarely around to monitor suspected violations, which often occur in the morning hours.

That’s going to change.

A regulation change approved by the Board of Alders this week requires garbage trucks doing business in New Haven to share GPS data with the police or their agents if there is an honest complaint.

Alders says this will allow the city to better enforce the noise ordinance, which keeps garbage trucks to the same noise standards as everyone else – and requires them to make their laps even quieter before 7 a.m. the ordinance begins.

The Noise Ordinance has a potential fine of $ 100 per event, with each day being a separate event.

“Our city has not been able to enforce our noise ordinance for many years because a city employee is required to witness all rubbish truck violations in our community,” said Alder Eli Sabin, D-1 from the Yale area, who is responsible for drafting the Modification. “Since most violations happen at 3 or 4 a.m., no city employee can be around to witness the violation.

“From the many complaints … it is clear that the garbage transporters were able to take advantage of the fact that we cannot enforce our regulation and have routinely picked up garbage very early in the morning, which has had a negative impact on the quality of life of our residents,” said Sabin.

“We have a lot of hard-working people in town and they deserve a government that can enforce the laws that are currently on the books to make their lives a little easier,” he said.

During the Legislative Committee’s process, members heard from residents in the Dwight, Fair Haven, East Rock and Downtown neighborhoods, among others, Sabin said.

Downtown Alder Abby Roth, D-9, and Fair Haven Alder Joseph Crespo, D-16, also supported the amendment presented by Legislation Committee Chairman Charles Decker, D-9.

“This is a simple, practical change that enables the city to enforce its existing noise abatement ordinance,” and “thereby improve the quality of life for residents across the city,” said Roth.

“We need that in our city. I have had several complaints … where nothing can be done to enforce this noise regulation, ”said Crespo.

According to a study by Purdue University, the volume of a garbage truck is 100 decibels.

But a garbage disposal spokesman who worked with alder trees on the change said it remains to be seen how much cooperation the city will get from commercial transport companies.

“The alders were determined to make this change,” said Steve Changaris, vice president of the Massachusetts-based National Waste & Recycling Association for the Northeast region. “What we did was we’d do better when the people weren’t there. We collect safer and faster. “

But the alders persisted and “chose this route with the release of the GPS data”. “If the truck doesn’t have GPS data, he or she may no longer be working in New Haven,” he said.

While Changaris was working on the changes with the alders, he said he could not guarantee that none of the association members would contest the change.

“We’ll see where it goes,” he said. “That costs a lot of time, money and effort. … We have taught the alders that it will disrupt our operations. You will see more garbage trucks in the middle of the day. “

If we go out at a later hour, when there are more buses on the city streets, “our trucks will take longer,” said Changaris.

But “we understand. It’s a quality of life issue for the city, ”he said. “We want to be good corporate citizens.

“If there is a demand for GPS, one company will be, another company may not and can go to the judge,” he said.

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