Chapter 31: Department of Sanitation

Section 751.

Section 751. Department; commissioner.

There shall be a department of sanitation the head of which shall be the commissioner of sanitation.

Section 752.

Section 752. Deputies.

The commissioner may appoint three deputies.

Section 753.

Section 753. Powers and duties of the commissioner.

  1. Except as otherwise provided by law, the commissioner shall have charge and control of and be responsible for all those functions and operations of the city relating to the cleanliness of the streets and the disposal of waste, including, without limitation, the following:

   (1) the sweeping, cleaning, sprinkling, flushing, washing and sanding of the streets;

   (2) the removal and disposition of ashes, street sweepings, garbage, refuse, rubbish and waste;

   (3) the removal of ice and snow from the streets;

   (4) the removal of encumbrances from the streets and the storage or disposal of such encumbrances;

   (5) plans, design, construction, operation, alteration, repair, maintenance, replacement, enlargement and regulation of the use of incinerators, landfills and other plants, facilities and equipment necessary for or useful for performing the functions and exercising the powers and duties enumerated in this section; and

   (6) the powers and duties of the commissioner with respect to the resource recovery task force set forth in subdivision f of section fourteen hundred and three, of this charter.

  1. The commissioner may adopt regulations specifying the kind of ashes, garbage, refuse, rubbish or other material or substance that will be collected by the city, from whom it will be taken, the manner in which it shall be arranged or sorted, the time when it will be collected and the place at which it shall be deposited for collection, and may prescribe civil penalties for violations thereof.
  2. Such regulations shall be enforced by order of the commissioner. Such order shall be addressed to the owner or owners, lessees or premises affected thereby. It shall not be necessary to designate such owner or owners, lessees or occupants by name in such order, however, the premises shall be designated in the address so that the same may be readily identified. Service of any such order may be made by delivery of a copy thereof to the owner or any one of several owners, to a lessee or any one of several lessees, or to any person of suitable age or discretion in charge of the premises, or if no person be found in charge of the premises, then by affixing a copy of such order prominently upon the premises. If such order is not complied with within the time specified therein, the commissioner shall prosecute the person or corporation liable therefor for the penalty prescribed by the regulation violated in furtherance of which such order shall have been issued and served.
  3. The commissioner may adopt regulations controlling the use of sidewalks and gutters by abutting owners and occupants for the disposition of sweepings, garbage, refuse or rubbish, and may provide that the violation thereof shall be punishable by civil penalty, fine or imprisonment. Such regulations shall be submitted to the council and when approved by it shall be published and enforced in like manner as local laws.
  4. Except as otherwise authorized by section 16-1020 of the administrative code, the commissioner shall have the powers and duties set forth in this subdivision.

   1. The commissioner, in the performance of his or her powers and duties pursuant to paragraph 2 of this subdivision and title 16-B of the administrative code, shall be authorized to receive complaints, conduct investigations, hold public and private hearings, administer oaths, take testimony, serve subpoenas, receive evidence, issue orders, and mediate disputes.

   2. The commissioner shall have the power and duty to regulate the conduct of businesses authorized to collect commercial waste in commercial waste zones pursuant to title 16-B of the administrative code and any other applicable law, including but not limited to, the power and duty to establish and enforce:

      (a) environmental, safety and health standards;

      (b) standards for service;

      (c) requirements regarding contracts for commercial waste removal;

      (d) requirements regarding billing forms and procedures;

      (e) requirements regarding the maintenance and inspection of records;

      (f) requirements regarding the maintenance of appropriate insurance; and

      (g) requirements established in furtherance of the goals of reducing waste and promoting sustainability, safety and efficiency in the commercial waste zone system.

   3. The commissioner shall have the power and duty to establish programs for the education of the public and commercial establishments regarding the commercial waste zone system established pursuant to title 16-B of the administrative code.

Section 754.

Section 754. Duties and obligations of property owner with respect to keeping vacant lots clean.

Notwithstanding any provision of law, the owner of any property at such owner’s own cost shall keep any vacant lot or lots on such property in a clean and sanitary manner and free of debris and other litter. The department of sanitation shall be responsible for the enforcement of this section and may issue rules and regulations in furtherance of such authority. In the event that an owner of property fails to comply with the provisions of this section, or the rules and regulations of such department, the department may provide for the cleaning of a vacant lot at the expense of the property owner in the manner to be provided by local law.

Section 755.

Section 755. Definition.

When used in this chapter “street” includes street, avenue, road, alley, lane, highway, parkway, boulevard, concourse, driveway, culvert and crosswalk, and every class of public road, square and place, except a wharf, pier, bulkhead or slip by law committed to the custody and control of any other agency.