Lakewood Mayor Ray Coles responds to your ‘Ask The Mayor’ questions: Trash Ordinance

The following is an ‘Ask The Mayor’ question submitted to TLS, and the Mayor’s response. Email your questions for the Mayor to [email protected].


Dear Mayor Coles

I hope this email finds you well. Firstly, I want to express my gratitude for your active involvement in the community through this forum. Your dedication to listening and responding to our concerns is highly appreciated.

I am writing to address two specific issues that have been concerning some of the residents in our township. I noticed a recent inquiry regarding a two-day garbage pick-up, and I fully understand that it is not an option in Lakewood. I believe there’s an additional aspect that needs attention. Many residents take walks or jog in the evenings and mornings, and some of our fellow residents are careless in leaving their garbage bins out for extended periods, sometimes for 1, 2, or even 3 days after the pick-up. This creates inconveniences for those who use our sidewalks, and I’m concerned about the negative impact it may have on the overall cleanliness and safety of our neighborhood. (I have witnessed on numerous occasions mothers pushing strollers onto the street to navigate around garbage bins)

To address this issue, I would like to suggest that the township considers drafting an ordinance that requires residents to return their bins to their designated areas no later than sundown on the day of pick-up. By implementing such a measure, we can encourage responsible practices and ensure the smooth movement of pedestrians along our sidewalks.

Secondly, I wanted to inquire about the street cleaning service in our town, It has been quite some time since I noticed a cleaning truck in our neighborhood. Other townships have a regular street cleaning service that takes place after garbage pickup, which helps to clean up any smelly liquid trails left behind by the garbage trucks. I believe having such a service is essential for maintaining a clean and pleasant environment for all residents.

I am writing to request your assistance in looking into these matters. Addressing these issues significantly contributes to the overall well-being of our community and enhances our quality of life.

Once again, thank you for your commitment to serving the community and for taking the time to consider these concerns.


Response from Mayor Coles:

I agree with you on the necessity for folks to get their garbage cans off the street and away from the curb. It is a hazard for pedestrians and motorists.

I am asking our residents to chip in and help alleviate this problem without having to resort to legal means. It only talks a few minutes once a week to put our cans away, and not only are we making it safer for our children, we are making our neighborhoods look nicer and even providing more on street parking.

The street cleaning aspect is also affected by this. We do have a schedule of street cleaners for every neighborhood. It is several times a year. However, cans in the street also make it difficult for the sweeper to perform its job. I’m working with public works to alert neighborhoods in advance of when the sweeper is expected, so we can do whatever possible to get both cans and cars off the street that day.

There is also something we can do to help eliminate the bad odors which can sometimes accompany garbage pickup. That is to make sure we do not over fill our cans and to make sure the lids are closed. When lids are left open, rain water gets into the cans and mixes with the garbage. This helps create the smells. Our trucks are cleaned regularly. While they are somewhat water tight, sometimes liquid can leak out through a worn seal. If you see liquid leaking from a truck, please call public works, so we can get the truck repaired and send the sweeper out to clean up any mess it made

Water and wet garbage also makes the cans much heavier. This actually costs the township more money, because the trucks are weighed when we go to the dump, and the extra water weight translates into extra dollars we must pay the landfill.

So once again, I will ask our residents to help us help them. Please cut up and break down cardboard boxes and try not to overfill the recyclable and garbage cans. If you have too much cardboard, the resident dropoff at public works is open 7 days and till 7:00PM at night. I make several trips there a month to dropoff cardboard, recyclables and things which do not fit well in the cans. I try not to leave things at the curb for bulk, because we have so many young children in the neighborhood, I don’t want to take a chance on anyone getting hurt.

Remember, a few minutes once a week can really help keep our neighborhoods, cleaner & safer.




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  1. When they enforce the rules, people complain.
    When they don’t enforce the rules, people complain.
    There currently exists an ordinance in Lakewood Township that says bins can be put out sometime in the afternoon the day before pickup, and must be taken in by 6:00 pm or so, the day of pickup.
    I know about because I got a warning many years ago because my bins were still out the morning after.
    It’s the same general problem of lack of enforcement.
    The ordinance is there.
    (Same thing with curfew for teenagers, the ordinance is there, we just need enforcement.)

  2. In my neighborhood we don’t appreciate Frum Noshim jogging down our streets. This was never an acceptable behavior in Lakewood. Maybe we can have an ordinance forbidding this activity. In the meantime, the smelly garbage cans minimizes this problem to some extent.

  3. AMEN to that! and they could keep their long shaitels and sometimes provacative clothing off the streets too!
    Hey! You ordinaceme, I ordinance you!!

    • Smelly garbage is halachicly problematic for people that want to daven or learn in the area.

      Another “advantage” of women not being able to get exercise is that they will all be fat and sickly and ugly and also probably die a few years earlier.

      How does garbage minimize the “problem”? Because in dreamland it keeps you off the streets or them or both? If anything, garbage makes it worse since with garbages there are less parked cars. And cars are bigger than garbages.

  4. in the last few years, the garbage trucks in my neighborhood put down the cans with a bang. they mostly topple over! I don’t remember this being the case when I moved to Lakewood around 17 years ago. at that time, the cans were still upstanding after the trucks put them down. Anyone else notice this? and is there anything that can be done? Are they newer trucks? newer drivers? Or just the drivers are more under pressure to get more cans in since the town has grown?

    • I believe the cans belong to the township. Not sure that you can halachically make holes in them without permission. We pay for the rights to use them.

  5. Thank you Mayor. It’s time to start enforcing the law in the area of Negba and East 5th st. As of Sunday afternoon the garbage cans are still blocking the view of the intersection which has already caused many accidents at this corner.

Comments are closed.