Overflowing trash bins, cans left out after collection day, cans with no lids that let garbage fly free — all are part of a problem that the City of Newport Beach will tackle with a new program that uses police volunteers to look for violators.
Beginning in Corona del Mar, the police department’s Volunteers in Policing have already identified 20 violators, city officials said. Other areas that will be targeted in the new partnership program are the Peninsula and Balboa Island, said Matt Cosylion, a Newport Beach Code Enforcement supervisor, in an email.
“Refuse complaints account for approximately 15 to 20 percent of the Code Enforcement Division caseload,” he said. “Since we do not have the resources to adequately address all of the complaints we receive on a daily basis, the VIPs were a perfect fit for this program.”
The volunteers will be assigned to check particular alleys, and when they see violations, they will prepare warning notices that Code Enforcement officers will review before sending out.
“If the property owner does not correct the problem, a code enforcement officer will visit the property and issue an administrative citation after personally observing the violation,” Cosylion said. The volunteers do not have the authority to issue violation notices, he said.
Fines range from $100 to $500.
“We started with CdM first because residents from CdM have been asking for stricter enforcement of the City’s regulations for some time,” Cosylion said. “Historically speaking, most of Code Enforcement’s resources have been dedicated to the Peninsula and B.I. (for refuse problems) leaving CdM with only one officer to address all the code issues including trash.”
City Councilwoman Nancy Gardner, who represents Corona del Mar, said she thinks residents will appreciate the extra effort.
“Too many people ignore the trash rules,” she said in an email. “Their cans remain in the alley uncovered, allowing the ravens and other scavengers easy access. The result is trash strewn through the alleys.”
She added that some residents don’t understand the rules, including that trash in plastic bags still needs to be inside a container for pickup.
For information on the Code Enforcement division, click here.