© 2024 WRVO Public Media
NPR News for Central New York
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Syracuse scraps proposal to change multi-unit residential garbage pickup

City of Syracuse
An example, highlighted at last week's council meeting, of a property that would be affected by the city code change.

Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh’s administration wants to change the city’s code to no longer pick up garbage for properties with more than four residential units. The city currently draws the limit at more than ten units. But the proposal was withdrawn after some city councilors rejected it. 

https://youtu.be/-NyJplF-MkA">Speaking at a council meeting last week, Syracuse Chief Operating Officer Corey Driscoll Dunham said other cities consider 3-4 residential units on a property as commercial and there is no justification to keep it at ten, other than this is how it’s always been done. 

“These are revenue generating properties, residents are subsidizing this service for these operations and we think that they should be required to get a private hauler and no longer get the pick-up service from DPW,” Driscoll Dunham said. 

But Councilor Joe Carni said just because other cities do it, doesn’t mean Syracuse should.

“These folks are paying taxes, that’s part of the services they get," Carni said. "My concern then becomes, are we going to have more people that want to get out of the business that might be a decent landlord with six or seven units?”

The change could affect more than 370 potential properties and save the city more than $300,000 annually. Councilor Michael Greene, who opposes the change, said those property owners could end up paying $1 million for private garbage collection.

“That $600,000 gap, essentially, is going to be paid by residents and or property owners in some of our city’s poorest neighborhoods," Greene said. "And I do believe that a lot of tenants are going to end up feeling some of the costs, in terms of increased rent.”

The idea has been scrapped for now, but could return when Walsh's administration proposes more changes to sanitation later this year.

Tom Magnarelli is a reporter covering the central New York and Syracuse area. He joined WRVO as a freelance reporter in 2012 while a student at Syracuse University and was hired full time in 2015. He has reported extensively on politics, education, arts and culture and other issues around central New York.