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Insight from WFPD: Working to keep the city clean

As we begin our move into spring the melting of the snow will uncover a kaleidoscope of color. Some of the color will be the beauty of early spring flowers while others will be created by the unpleasant sight of garbage than has accumulated over winter.

The City of West Fargo has long had an ordinance requiring the use of garbage cans or dumpsters for the collection of garbage. The required containers help control the unnecessary spread of trash in your neighborhood by preventing access for animals or exposure to the seemingly ever present wind. Listed here are the requirements for trash containers.

15-0202. GARBAGE CANS - REQUIRED - CAPACITY - CONSTRUCTION. Every owner or occupant of any house, hotel, restaurant, building, flat, apartment, tenement, commercial building, tourist court or mobile home park unit in this City, where persons reside, board or lodge, or where animal or vegetable food is accumulated, kept for sale, prepared or served, shall provide for such house, hotel, restaurant, building, flat, apartment, tenement, commercial building, tourist court or mobile home park unit, and at all times maintain in good order a vessel or vessels for garbage.

For each flat, apartment, tenement, building or mobile home park unit, one (1) such vessel for each living unit shall be provided.

Such vessel for garbage shall be watertight and made of metal or plastic with a close-fitting metal or plastic cover, and shall have a capacity of not less than ten (10) nor more than thirty-three (33) gallons. However, one (1) or more larger containers of such size and type as is approved by the City Public Works Director may be used if such Public Works Director determines the same to be necessary. Garbage receptacles should be placed on the premises, under the direction of the Public Works Director as to be easily accessible to the garbage collectors.

At times garbage left for collection is exposed to the elements when others scavenge through the trash left for collection. The City discourages persons other than authorized collection companies from collecting trash.

15-0205. WHO MAY REMOVE CONTENTS OF GARBAGE CAN. It shall be unlawful for any person, firm or corporation, or any agent or employee thereof to haul, carry or convey through, along, or upon any public street, alley or sidewalk within the City of West Fargo, any garbage, rubbish, or ashes as classified under this chapter unless employed, licensed or permitted by the City of West Fargo, to carry or convey garbage.

The City has implemented a recycling program that diverts hundreds of tons of material from the landfill each year. The recycled material is reused to make a multitude of products. The program is beneficial to the City through the reduction of disposal costs and serves as an income source captured from the recycled metals. Those items put out for recycling become the property of the City and their collection is controlled.

15-0216. COLLECTION OF RECYCLABLE MATERIALS. Residents of residential dwellings and commercial buildings may participate in the City's plan of separation of recyclable materials as defined in Section 15-0201. The collection of separated materials shall be at such regular times as set by the City. Materials shall only be collected if set out in special recycling containers authorized by the City.

Source: Ord. 496, Sec. 3 (1995)

15-0217. ANTI-SCAVENGING CLAUSE. Ownership of separated recyclable materials set out for collection by the City shall be vested in the City. It shall be unlawful for any person, firm, or corporation to pick up separated recyclable materials for his/her own use, except the owner, lessee, or occupant of a residential dwelling may take back materials set out at that particular dwelling. In addition, any person, firm, or corporation may pick up recyclable materials pursuant to a special permit as provided in Section 15-0212.

Please do your part to keep our community clean by bagging and placing your garbage in an approved container. Learn more about recycling by calling the Sanitation Department at 701-433-5400 or at