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 Dumpster Licensing

Oct 7, 2009

A Guiide to Dumpster Licensing.pdf

Dumpster Licensing Ordinance Effective Jan. 1, 2010

Dumpster Licensing for Property Owners, Businesses, Tenants, Haulers & Contractors
Effective January 1, 2010. *

*Note:  The Dumpster License issued by the Inspectional Services Department does not replace, but is in addition to, the Dumpster On-Street Permit issued by the Traffic & Parking Department for those temporary dumpsters that are located on a public way.  Application for Dumpster On-Street Permit can only be made with the Traffic & Parking Department following the approval of the Dumpster License from the Inspectional Services Department.

In an effort to reduce conditions that contribute to rodent activity and other public health nuisances, the Cambridge City Council has approved an ordinance requiring the licensing of all dumpsters, and establishing clear property management and site cleanliness standards.

This license is needed for:

Any container, compacting unit, or roll-off that is used for the temporary storage, containment, or transport of refuse, debris, trash, garbage, recycling, organics or other like materials­— including temporary dumpsters used during construction.

This license is not needed for:

Trash cans with volumes of 50 gallons or less, recycling receptacles of 96 gallons or less, or solid waste disposal trucks licensed by the City of Cambridge License Commission or used and operated by the City of Cambridge. It also excludes dumpsters used for one-day special events permitted by the City of Cambridge.

Ordinance Requirements:
Chapter 8.25 of the Cambridge Municipal Code

The property owner or a designated Responsible Party must submit a Dumpster Application to Inspectional Services Department, 831 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02139. Ph. 617-349-6100.
(Download Dumpster Application)

Dumpster Plan:

A Dumpster Plan including the following elements must be submitted for review and approval.

       A.  Location Details:

       A plot plan that includes the address and shows the location of the dumpster, associated fencing or screening, all catch basins, and all abutting properties
       B.  Owner or Responsible Party Information:

       1.     The owner of the lot, and any tenant operator(s).

       2.     The type of establishment(s) located on the lot.

       3.     The name of the party responsible for over-seeing cleaning and maintenance of the lot.

       4.     A weekly schedule detailing the days/times the dumpster and any associated litter or leaks will be cleaned.

       5.     Any and all permits or licenses issued by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental
              Protection relating to the generation, management, storage, and disposal of solid wastes
              and hazardous materials on the lot.

       6.     All permits or licenses issued by other City and government agencies.

       7.     The pest control company servicing the establishment or dumpster.

       8.     A description of training and copy of written materials given to employees or residents
               about the proper use of a dumpster.

       C.  Waste Hauler Information:

       1.     A copy of the contract with the waste hauling company responsible for servicing the dumpster.

       2.     The date, time, and frequency of service by the waste hauling company including proof of
               recycling and anticipated volume of refuse and recycling based on the previous year’s invoices, if applicable.

       3.     Any other information required by the Inspectional Services Department to ensure that the lot is maintained in a sanitary condition to maintain the public health, safety, and environment.

Keep Dumpster Areas Clean
Sanitation is the single most important factor for rodent control.

Think Recycling

City Ordinance requires that all buildings that generate waste recycle the following materials if they comprise at least 5% of the waste by weight:  asphalt, brick, cardboard; concrete, glass, metal and plastic containers; lead acid batteries, paper; scrap metal; waste oil; wood; and yard waste.  By separating recyclable materials from the trash, property owners can control trash costs by reducing dumpster size, weight, and collection frequency. 

Businesses should set up recycling service with any hauler licensed to operate in the City.  Residential buildings may receive weekly curbside recycling service through the City.  The City provides 96-gallon recycling toters to buildings with 6 units or more, which may be placed at the curb after 6pm the night before collection or by 7am on collection day. Toters must not block the sidewalk and empty toters must be removed from the curb by 6pm the day of collection.

Dumpster Use—Best Practices

To keep rodents out:

•     Use dumpsters with tight-fitting lids. Keep lids and doors closed at all times to prevent trash from
        getting out and rodents from getting in.

•     Place dumpsters on pavement or concrete, not soil, to prevent rats from burrowing underneath.

•     Rodents can enter dumpsters through the 11⁄4” to 11⁄2” drain hole usually present in the dumpster rear wall (or side of a compacter). Ask your waste disposal company to put a leak proof drain plug in the dumpster.

To keep waste in:

•     Choose the right type and size of dumpster for your needs, so it won’t overflow or leak.

•     Clean under and around dumpsters as often as needed, particularly after collection.

•     Minimize the amount of liquids placed in a dumpster to prevent spills. Ask your waste disposal company for a dumpster or compactor that will minimize spillage.

•     Call your hauler when a dumpster needs cleaning inside. Do not wash or hose out a dumpster near a catch basin.

•     Use a chain and lock on the dumpster lid if necessary to prevent scavenging and unauthorized use.

     Mice and rats need food, water and shelter.  They, and other pest animals (e.g., gulls and pigeons), can find those items especially in and around dumpsters.  Pest animals can carry diseases, foul property, and damage structures.  However, with good sanitation practices, pests can be controlled and that means a healthier environment.

Follow these tips to help solve or prevent rodent problems near dumpsters: 

• Use dumpsters with tight-fitting lids.  Keep lids and doors closed at all times.  This prevents trash from overflowing onto the ground, wind from blowing trash out, and rodents from jumping inside.  Light-weight plastic lids are advantageous where children and seniors use dumpsters.  Similarly, dumpsters with sliding plastic/ metal doors can be easier to use than those with metal lids. 

• Rats can jump 3 feet vertically and 4 feet horizontally!  Mice can run up a concrete wall.  Consider these facts and space dumpsters away from walls, fences, etc.  Place dumpsters on pavement, rather than soil, because rats like to burrow in soil and underneath large objects.

 • Choose the right type and size of dumpster for your needs, and don’t allow trash to overflow or leak.

 • Dumpsters sometimes rust along their bottom edges, resulting in holes that provide access for rodents.   Insist that your waste disposal company provide a leak free dumpster made of sound metal and free of any openings ¼” or larger.

 • Rodents can enter dumpsters through the 1¼” to 1½” drain hole usually present in the dumpster rear wall (or side of a compacter).  Ask your waste disposal company to put a leak proof drain plug in the dumpster.  If drain hole threads are damaged, a rubber plug can be installed.  If you are unable to plug the drain hole the dumpster should be switched out.

• Clean under and around dumpsters daily if necessary, and sweep up any spilled debris after collection.  Trash tends to accumulate especially under and around compactors.  Minimize the amount of liquids placed in a dumpster to prevent spills.  Ask your waste disposal company for a dumpster or compactor that will minimize spillage.

 • When a dumpster needs cleaning call your solid waste hauler for cleaning or replacement.  Do not wash or hose out a dumpster near a catch basin.  If the waste hauler is responsible for cleaning, do not allow the dumpster wash waters to be drained to a catch basin on your property or in the street. The best place to clean equipment is a wash pad with a sanitary sewer connection.  If your facility does not have a wash pad, you still can create a designated wash area that prevents wash waters from discharging to the storm drain system.  Create a collection area with booms to prevent wash waters from entering a catch basin or flowing to the street.  Block flow to storm drains with an impervious barrier such as sandbags or rubber mats.  Pump collected wash water to the sanitary sewer (e.g. sink or sewer cleanout).   If wash waters can not be discharge to the sanitary system, make arrangements with your waste hauler to swap out your dumpster for cleaning or to collect the wash water for disposal off site at an appropriate location.

• Use a chain and lock on the dumpster lid if necessary to prevent scavenging and unauthorized use.

• Sanitation is the single most important factor for rodent control---and that means keeping dumpster areas clean.



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