Niagara Gazette — Niagara Falls business owners are pushing back on the city's new refuse and recycling program which would see many operations begin to pay for their own services.
A handful of business owners expressed concerns with the new program which will see the city provide garbage and recycling totes to residents and some business.
Charles Knoll, the owner of the Falls Motel on Buffalo Avenue, said that many small business owners in the city are just scraping by at this point.
"The added expense of private garbage collection could be the monetary expense that sends some businesses out of business," he told the council.
Knoll, along with many other business owners, received a letter last week from Mayor Paul Dyster's office telling him his garbage collection would end on July 1 and that he was being "strongly encouraged to procure private collection services."
The motel owner pleaded with the council and the administration to reconsider the provision in the new program that would see business owners who do not fit into the criteria outlined in the city plan paying for their own garbage collection.
"It is very much the case of burden the responsibility on those that have the least voice," Knoll said. "Well I'm raising my voice."
City Administrator Donna Owens, who has overseen the negotiation of a new contract and the implementation of the new refuse and recycling program, said the city has long had a law on the books requiring businesses to have their own garbage services, but it has gone unenforced.
In overhauling the refuse and recycling program the city has to set and enforce new standards, she added.
"At the end of the day we do need to monitor how we are having our garbage and trash collected," Owens said.
Owens and the administration will continue to work with small business owners, civic groups and residents to work out any kinks with the implementation of the program, she said.