Dumpster restrictions contemplated
May 24, 2006
Swede Alley at the start of the week was living up to the ‘alley’ part of its name.
Dumpsters were seen up and down the street on Monday and City Hall, in an effort to make Swede Alley a little prettier, is considering new rules about the big trash bins.
Public Works Director Jerry Gibbs has approached Mayor Dana Williams and the Park City Council with the regulations. The elected officials last week were not prepared to vote on a resolution regarding the Dumpsters but are scheduled to cast a vote on Thursday.
"I think trash Dumpsters are not necessarily the most attractive piece of equipment on one’s property," Gibbs says.
If the new rules are adopted, all the Dumpsters must be removed or put behind screens by June 2007. Gibbs says he expects that Dumpsters maintained by City Hall will comply with the rules this summer.
"Everything that is visible will have to be screened, private Dumpsters as well as public Dumpsters," Gibbs says, noting that, perhaps, wood fences will be built around the Dumpsters to screen them from view.
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Gibbs identifies Dumpsters at the southern end of the Brew Pub parking lot, at the southern end of Main Street, and those behind Cisero’s, at about the 300 block of Swede Alley, as some that would be screened from view.
The rules, which were distributed to the elected officials last week, would, "enhance the look of Main Street and Swede Alley by eliminating dumpster blight."
They say that City Hall and the Main Street Business Alliance should "partner to develop strategies" and that there should also be cooperation between Park City, Summit County, Recycle Utah and merchants.
The Dumpster rules are part of an overall document that City Hall is calling the ‘solid waste strategic plan,’ which addresses several other issues. The plan urges Summit County to consider what is called a "pay as you throw" rate for commercial trash and says that Park City and the county should partner to fund a permanent home for Recycle Utah.
Other points include researching an "urban composting and trash sorting operation" and conducting a "comparative analysis" of trash hauling by the private and public sectors.
The city is considering the rules as Summit County prepares to pick a trash hauler. Allied Waste Services currently holds the contract with the county, which requires trash pickup in Park City. The deal with Allied Waste ends in July 2007. The county is readying to request bids from trash haulers.
The Dumpster rules are notable in the Main Street area because Park City has long said that downtown is what draws many tourists to the city. City and Main Street leaders and tourism boosters have portrayed Main Street as a quaint destination for shoppers and diners and by removing Dumpsters from the streetscape they want to further that image.
Ken Davis, the president of the Main Street business alliance, who owns Cows and Java Cow on the street, calls the Dumpsters an "eyesore" and says, "that’s not the best-looking situation."
Davis sees Swede Alley as an increasingly prominent road and making it look nicer is important.
"It used to be Swede Alley was more of a back street," Davis says.
But more people are on Swede Alley than in the past since Park City built a parking garage last year attached to the older China Bridge structure. The government also plans to build a town plaza on Swede Alley. If that is built, the supporters envision, Swede Alley will be visited much more frequently.
Davis says if the rules are passed, it would be a benefit but he also says that the rules, if they are denied, would not doom Main Street.
"I don’t think they’re the worst thing in the world," he says about the Dumpsters.