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NIAGARA FALLS – The Dyster administration is asking city lawmakers to approve the inclusion of more garbage services in its new curbside pickup contract with Modern Disposal. The additional services would include year-long pickup of garbage and recycling from about 400 small businesses and from two Niagara Falls Housing Authority properties, as well as allowing for separate collection of yard waste and leaves in certain periods of the year.

Business owners have been among the loudest to protest the administration’s proposed changes to the city’s curbside recycling and garbage pickup program because most businesses would have been cut out of receiving free pickup services. They were previously advised to seek private hauling services under the administration’s initial plan, which has been harshly criticized by some members of the public.

Yard waste and leaves would have to be placed at the curb in clear plastic bags, under the proposal. The yard waste and leaves may still be put inside the garbage tote, but the city decided to add the opportunity for separate pickup should a user’s tote not have space for such waste in a given week, Dyster said. For 32 weeks of yard waste pickup, the cost is about $95,000, while five weeks of leaf pickup will cost about $15,000 per year. “We’re hoping that the general emphasis on recycling is going to cause more people to get interested in composting,” the mayor said.

Distribution of the new totes started this week and the new program is scheduled to go into effect Aug. 4. The new totes may be used as soon as they are delivered, but it is not required until the program begins. In addition to containing a chip that allows it to be uniquely identified, each tote will come with a unique identification number on it, and making any marks on the carts would be illegal under the proposed law. While residents and businesses are learning the new program, there will be a grace period when the city won’t be immediately citing users for violations.

“We’re going to do more education than we are enforcement,” the mayor said.

email: abesecker@buffnews.com

Read the proposed garbage and recycling law at www.buffalonews.com/thebrink.