Trash cans on sidewalks causing problems for disabled people

Posted at 11:19 PM, Aug 22, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-23 14:59:03-04

Let's talk about trash.

...Probably not a topic you enjoy giving much thought to, but members of the disabled community are asking that you do.

"Do we not matter? Do people with disabilities-- do we not count?" asked Sharon Hagler, disabled Nampa resident.

Hagler says several of her neighbors are placing their trash cans directly in the middle of the sidewalk.

"Put yourself in that place, and how would you feel? It's like, if you were on crutches or you were in a wheelchair or something, and you had to constantly navigate that?"

While walking she is forced to step off the curb, into the street, and back up the curb on the other side-- which poses a safety risk.

"Cause you don't know who's gonna come around a corner, like in their car, not be paying attention."

Her frustrations are exacerbated by Republic Services returning the receptacles to the same place on the sidewalk that perpetrators originally placed them on.

Republic was unreachable for comment, though Nampa city code declares the act as a "nuisance."

"Trash cans need to be stored 25 feet from the ride of way-- so that would be a sidewalk-- unless it's on a regularly scheduled pick up day, and in that case, the city encourages people to put it on the street closest to the curb-- not on the sidewalk," said Amy Bowman, Communications Manager for the City of Nampa.

In the municipal codes of Nampa, Meridian, and Boise, there is language that clearly states that fully obstructing sidewalks in any way, with any item, is a violation of code-- meaning if you've spoken with your neighbors, and they still aren't budging, you can file a report with your city and they might send someone to help ensure they comply.

"It's not just about me, it's about schoolkids going to school, or maybe kids bicycling, or women, or maybe somebody pushing a baby stroller," said Hagler. "It's a simple solution."