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Posted on Tue, Aug 27, 2013 : 5:59 a.m.

Ann Arbor's student housing shuffle in full swing: items abandoned at curb against the law

By Ryan J. Stanton


A woman on Woodlawn Avenue said this pile of old furniture, shown here on Monday, had been sitting at the curb since last week in violation of city code.

Ryan J. Stanton |

With the start of a new school year around the corner, University of Michigan students are making moves and flocking back to Ann Arbor by the thousands.

Inevitably, a major housing shuffle goes on this time of year, as those living near campus haul belongings out of their old apartments and move into new pads for the coming year. Others are finally moving out of town, while new faces arrive to replace them.


Furniture and personal belongings left at the curb on William Street just east of Division Street in violation of city code.

Ryan J. Stanton |

One of the consequences of this phenomenon, as those who've recently passed through student neighborhoods are well aware, is a lot of old junk left at the curb, and that's against the law.

TVs, couches, mattresses, shelves, desks, dressers, kitchen supplies and other personal belongings and trash can be found lining curbs on several streets.

In some cases, items are left with signs that scream, "Free for the taking!" in hopes that they'll find a new home and get reused instead of thrown in a landfill.

But no matter the reason for abandoning them, it's still a violation of city code to leave items at the curb unless they're inside a city-provided trash or recycling container, said Tom McMurtrie, who manages the city's trash and recycling programs.

"Anything that's left at the curb outside of the container is a violation of the code and it can be subject to a ticket," he said.

The fine is $200 for the first offense, $400 for the second offense and $1,000 for each additional offense within a five-year period.

Each day of violation constitutes a separate violation, except when the maximum fine is levied, according to the code.

McMurtrie said he wasn't sure how many tickets have been written for trash left at the curb in recent days, but city officials do notice that it happens more frequently this time of year. It also happens each year in May after students graduate and move out.

"In the past, we have issued at least warnings, sometimes tickets," McMurtrie said. "People are given warnings and then given 24 hours to clean things up."

The city is in the process of rolling out a new solid waste plan. McMurtrie noted one of the action items in the plan involves implementing a biannual "community freebie" day to allow people — without penalty — to set items such as furniture at the curb for others to take.

The plan is to kick that off by next summer. Residents would be responsible for removing any items not taken during the amnesty period and disposing of them responsibly.

For this year's student housing shuffle, as it has done in the past, the city is once again providing a special drop-off site for getting rid of bulky items like furniture.


For this year's student housing shuffle, as it has done in the past, the city is once again providing a special drop-off site at East University and Oakland for getting rid of bulky items like furniture.

Ryan J. Stanton |

A number of industrial-size dumpsters have been placed in the middle of the street at East University and Oakland. That started Aug. 19 and runs through Sept. 3.

The site is staffed by city employees and operates from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Ann Arbor Kiwanis Club and Salvation Army are taking reusable items from the site to sell at their shops.

Materials accepted include bagged trash, discarded furniture and curbside recycling. Reusable items accepted include clothing, nonperishable food, toiletries, furniture and working electronic appliances.

Jim Smiley, a landlord who manages 21 student rental properties in Ann Arbor, said he's been taking advantage of the drop-off site.

"When the kids move out, they leave a lot of stuff behind, so we bring it over here, which is very convenient," he said. "The problem is the kids don't have a vehicle to get around. I have a van or a pickup truck, but the students have a bicycle and a scooter and mom's car."

As a property owner, Smiley said he doesn't want to get hit with a ticket for trash his tenants leave behind, so he makes sure to keep a close eye on his properties this time of year. He said he's been hit with tickets before for trash his tenants left on the lawn after a party.

"On football Saturdays, when kids go to the game and don't pick up the cups, the landlords get the ticket," he said. "If we are dragged to court, we bring the students with us and say, 'Here's what you caused me.' That's inconvenient, but that's happened before — several times."


A student rental property near campus bears evidence Saturday morning of a party the night before.

Ryan J. Stanton |

Keith Zeisloft, the city's 15th District Court administrator, said the court's caseload for various city ordinance violations typically picks up as U-M students return each fall.

"The court usually sees a bump in the citation rate in September of each year, much of which is attributable to the influx of new and returning students," he said.

"For every year from 2007 to 2012, traffic/criminal case filings typically decline in June, July and August, rebound in September, October and November, decline again in December, rise again in January, then usually — but not always — level out for February, March, April and May."

Here's a look at that trend (download report):


A look at traffic/criminal case filing trends in Ann Arbor's 15th District Court.

Courtesy of 15th District Court


A look at civil case filing trends in Ann Arbor's 15th District Court.

Courtesy of 15th District Court

Ryan J. Stanton covers government and politics for Reach him at or 734-623-2529. You also can follow him on Twitter or subscribe to's email newsletters.



Wed, Aug 28, 2013 : 7:44 p.m.

Some students just leave in in the room/house, whether it's a rental property or a frat. My son lived in a house where a tenant left a bunch of stuff as well as broke several items in the public space. He lost his entire deposit and the other tenants had to work with the landlord to prove the damage wasn't theirs. Once it's on the curb, as Kelli stated it's impossible to prove whose it is, and you can't assess all the tenants for the actions of one. This year a different son moved into a frat, and the former room occupant had left a bunch of stuff (and didn't clean the room). Frats are notorious for not doing inspections, not dinging deposits, and basically being disgusting year round (to a parent anyway).


Wed, Aug 28, 2013 : 11:23 a.m.

Landlords in AA already face more regulations and fees and inspections that make like hard than most anywhere else. Not their job to clean up after students who illegally leave trash in public places. The university is making lots of money off these students, witness the salaries of its "leaders". Expecting them to spend on this is never going to happen as sharing the profits is something forgein to their thought process. City doesn't have enough money to pay for real enforcement (ticketing & follow thru). Seems having a pickup crew come thru twice a week during the worst times is the only realistic / practical action even though it will cost the city.


Wed, Aug 28, 2013 : 2:59 a.m.

The university has sufficient funds. Why doesn't the city require the university to clean up after their students?


Wed, Aug 28, 2013 : 4:20 p.m.

Exactly how do you think they could do that? The U has no responsibility to any student living off campus. The city benefits from off campus residences.


Wed, Aug 28, 2013 : 2:53 a.m.

There's all these regulations to keep us citizens in line but government can break all the laws they want, circumvent the constitution, and make stupid crosswalk modifications that kill people and cause untold property damage. Who do we call about those things?


Wed, Aug 28, 2013 : 6:31 p.m.

hey, ain't that america?


Tue, Aug 27, 2013 : 8:46 p.m.

A lot of them just do not want to hassle with the thought of having to lug it to the junk yard themselves. Time to think about taking it home to mama.


Tue, Aug 27, 2013 : 7:24 p.m.

Our students! Don't you lov'em?

pooh bear

Tue, Aug 27, 2013 : 7:13 p.m.

the university should take some responsibility for the clean up and work with the city to pay for it


Tue, Aug 27, 2013 : 5:37 p.m.

Simple solution. If you leave trash you don't get your deposit back.


Tue, Aug 27, 2013 : 8:50 p.m.

landlords can't take any more from someone's security deposit than the actual cost of hauling the trash from the curb. this is typically $100 or so. if you are a tenant and your landlord is attempting to keep your entire security deposit because of trash on the curb, ask to see the receipt from the folks who came to pick up the trash. landlords can be liable for damages up to double the amount of the entire security deposit for making improper deductions from a security deposit. i get that people are mad about trash by the side of the road but, look, moving is often a busy, stressful experience that often comes with time constraints and taking a trip to the dump is usually pretty low on the priority list of most renters. many tenants probably don't even realize that ann arbor has such ridiculous policies regarding trash pickup and just assume that pretty much any item of reasonable size left by the curb will be picked up.


Tue, Aug 27, 2013 : 7:29 p.m.

Lizzy, No one gets their deposit back if it's not cleaned up within a week. The homeowner then hires it cleaned up. It would cost too much to litigate the issue so the students are out the deposit.


Tue, Aug 27, 2013 : 7:27 p.m.

Simple solution Lizzy: Collect a "good community deposit" at the beginning of the lease. If the entire community is good then everyone gets the money back. If one slacker leaves their trash and the rest of the community lets it sit, no one gets the money back. Let the community self-enforce their problems.

Lizzy Alfs

Tue, Aug 27, 2013 : 7:19 p.m.

The issue in a lot of buildings, though, is that the landlord doesn't know who is responsible for the trash. If you live in a 20-person building or even a house with per-bedorom leases, they can't pinpoint who to blame.


Tue, Aug 27, 2013 : 4:50 p.m.

Hooray for an annual "Junking Day!" They do this in Germany and I was able to acquire some great stuff and get rid of stuff too.


Tue, Aug 27, 2013 : 4:30 p.m.

"McMurtrie noted one of the action items in the plan involves implementing a biannual 'community freebie' day to allow people — without penalty — to set items such as furniture at the curb for others to take." The word "biannual" is ambiguous and has 2 meanings and is, therefore, best avoided. Based on the context, I assume the meaning is twice yearly, better expressed as "semiannual." "Biennial" would be the better choice for the other meaning of "biannual," namely, every 2 years. See


Wed, Aug 28, 2013 : 12:27 a.m.

Thanks, @Brad, that is a nice summary of what I have been trying to convey in the earlier postings. Ryan, after checking out @Brad's link, care to weigh in one final time on the ambiguity of "biannual?"


Tue, Aug 27, 2013 : 10:01 p.m. Not that I necessarily agree.


Tue, Aug 27, 2013 : 7:10 p.m.

Ryan, there IS ambiguity in "biannual." Did you look at the Merriam-Webster definition? Their second definition is "biennial," that is, every 2 years. If biannual can mean twice a year, or if it can mean every two years, how is that not ambiguous?

Ryan J. Stanton

Tue, Aug 27, 2013 : 7:06 p.m.

Biannual means twice a year. Biennial means every other year. No ambiguity.


Tue, Aug 27, 2013 : 6:48 p.m.

Sorry, your LAST link, is to an Australian website...


Tue, Aug 27, 2013 : 6:21 p.m.

@SEC Fan, your link is not to Merriam-Webster but to an Australian website. Their language usage differs from American English in many respects, so its relevance to this topic is tangential. And as for your trust in Merriam-Webster, their definition includes both meanings (twice a year, and biennial (i.e., every two years)). Here is the link to Merriam-Webster's treatment of "biannual" "We should not write so that it is possible for the reader to understand us, but so that it is impossible for him to misunderstand us." - Quintilian (Marcus Fabius Quintilianus), rhetorician (c. 35-100)


Tue, Aug 27, 2013 : 5:03 p.m.

I'll trust Merriam-Webster: The issue isn't the "ambiguity" of the work "biannual"'s people's ignorance of the existence of the word "biennial". If the article referred to "bimonthly", then I would agree with you:


Tue, Aug 27, 2013 : 4:27 p.m.

Here is a thought! Since the students who are doing it do not pay any City taxes for such things as road repair, police, fire, etc... We setup an anonymous tip line where people drop dimes on these kids. Start with a fine of 250, and then increase it to 500, 750, etc.. with each infraction. In a very short time, we will have the best roads in the nation all because of students who refuse to grow up due to the coddling nature of their parents. :)


Tue, Aug 27, 2013 : 6:13 p.m.

Thanks PeteM for setting people straight. Everything that a renter gets, he pays for. how to figure rent Property value...... $250, 000 monthly payment on property $1440 divided by 12 = $120 Property taxes ...... $3600.00 divided by 12 = $360 utilities 350.00 monthly average $350. Insurance $1200 DIVIDE BY 12 $100 Building maintenance $1200 divided by 12= $100. 15% profit on rental property $109 Total monthly rent $1139 my guess garbage pick up is extra Property owners do not donate the rooms to the students. If the property is paid off then the land lord makes good money. Still, even though they pay does not give the right to litter or cause a blight area.


Tue, Aug 27, 2013 : 4:49 p.m.

I'm not sure how you calculate zero taxes. Most students live in private homes, not dorms. Landlords who want to make money pass their property tax obligations on to their tenants. Also, I would assume that most student housing where the landlord isn't a resident is ineligible for the homestead exemption and pays a higher. That doesn't mean students shouldn't be liable for breaking the law -- just that I suspect that they pay a lot of taxes.


Tue, Aug 27, 2013 : 4:15 p.m.

This is why i love Ypsi. Put it out by the curb and they'll grab it, pretty much no questions asked. Putting garbage out in A2 is miserable. they won't even touch it unless the LID IS CLOSED ON THE CAN, and you better not put any extra bags out there! No no no! Then YOU have to haul it to the dump, YOU pay a fee per item (!) just to dump the stuff, what a pain in the butt. Why people put up with that, I have no idea.

Basic Bob

Wed, Aug 28, 2013 : 9:41 a.m.

The trash people should just haul it away on trash day. Build the cost into the trash bill. Problem solved.


Tue, Aug 27, 2013 : 6:25 p.m.

I agree. Especially in a city that throws around the kind of money Ann Arbor does on things that are completely inconsequential. There's a program for everything, but let's make it as difficult as possible for people paying pretty high property taxes to get their trash picked up.

Homeland Conspiracy

Tue, Aug 27, 2013 : 4:13 p.m.

Laws, Laws, Laws, Laws, Laws, Laws, Laws, Laws, Laws, Laws, Laws, Laws!!!

Ryan J. Stanton

Tue, Aug 27, 2013 : 7:04 p.m.

Care to expand on that?

Ryan J. Stanton

Tue, Aug 27, 2013 : 4:06 p.m.

One of the challenges for many students and young professionals who live in rental properties near downtown and campus is that landlords kick them out around Aug. 15 to give their cleaning crews time to turn around units for incoming tenants. Almost all leases start Sept. 1. That leaves a half-month that many students have to scramble and find a place to crash and find somewhere to store their belongings before they can move into their next apartment. Some items inevitably get left at the curb during this process. I'd be curious to hear from some students about their experiences dealing with this fact of rental life in Ann Arbor, and from anybody else who sees a potential solution to the situation.

Lizzy Alfs

Tue, Aug 27, 2013 : 7:18 p.m.

@Ryan: I was thinking that while reading the story. As a student at UM, and even as a renter nowadays, I've always had to ask for permission to move into buildings early and prorate the rent, because that gap time between move out and move in was always a issue. Not all landlords will let you do this, though. And if you do, you forgo having the place cleaned..not great.


Tue, Aug 27, 2013 : 3:27 p.m.

when I seen the lead picture I knew exactly where it was. Its across the street from my childhood home, thats Maxey Mc Laughlins house, His brother was Ollie Mc Laughlin of whrv later waam radio. who managed Deon Jackson. I use to mow his lawn as a child, they always took great care of their home, its sad to see it belongs most likely to rental property today.


Tue, Aug 27, 2013 : 5:46 p.m.

Good ole Ollie,,, I remember the accident he got into on Washtenaw at South U. He was a good guy. So was Deon, too bad he didn't really make it.


Tue, Aug 27, 2013 : 3:05 p.m.

I have several comments for commentators: TheDiagSquirrel – the article is about students not homeowners. Jim Mulchay – sometimes you just need to read an article to get an idea there were many tickets issued, lots of money collected, a few required court action and landlords don't want to have problems with the city so they probably pay the fines and pass the cost onto the students. Or sometimes, as the article reads, the landlord brings the student to court but like A2comments commented students don't care. mr_annarbor – is there a reason your being so rude? DennisP – you expect the students to pay bulk rates? Or their parents? Really? Eeyore – when you get new mattresses the delivery people, if you indicated at time of sale, will take your old mattress away for free. Stupid Hick – ah, finally a nice comment. Brad – ah, humor is nice.


Tue, Aug 27, 2013 : 3:37 p.m.

In response, I know exactly what the article is about. I was trying to draw a parallel between students and homeowners doing the same thing, and wondering if they both were held to the same standards and laws. Thanks for the clarification, though!

Laurie Barrett

Tue, Aug 27, 2013 : 2:50 p.m.

Maybe the university could help enhance the students' sensibility about throwing their stuff out on the street?


Wed, Aug 28, 2013 : 4:14 p.m.

Sure Laurie, a required class about garbage. The U takes care of its on campus residents and has no responsibility to those who live of campus. They are not children they are adults and should act like adults.


Tue, Aug 27, 2013 : 2:55 p.m.

They should solicit for "trash ambassadors" to help the students properly dispose of their trash.


Tue, Aug 27, 2013 : 2:15 p.m.

Illegal dumping or just "unauthorized recycling"?

Vivienne Armentrout

Tue, Aug 27, 2013 : 2:10 p.m.

Residents of Ann Arbor need to pay attention to that new Solid Waste Plan. Zealots have constructed a plan to reduce your weekly trash pickup to once every two weeks. Here is the first action item in the plan: Consider biweekly curbside refuse collection in coordination with composting of all food waste collected weekly year-round. Expansion of food waste collection would reduce the need for curbside refuse collection. Savings from biweekly curbside refuse collection could be used to pay for expansion of food waste collection. Here is the link for the plan: According to the site, City Council will take up the issue this fall.


Wed, Aug 28, 2013 : 4:13 p.m.

The only thing I miss from A2 after moving out is its recycling, where I only put the bin out at the curb. Now I have to transport it. If I still lived in A2 and they change trash pick up to every two weeks, my trash would go into a down town garbage can daily.


Tue, Aug 27, 2013 : 10:36 p.m.

A little too much solitude maybe?

Vivienne Armentrout

Tue, Aug 27, 2013 : 6:42 p.m.

Solitude, have you been living in Ann Arbor for the last few years? We tried the RecycleBank experiment. It failed and cost the city money.


Tue, Aug 27, 2013 : 6:21 p.m.

One of the best plans I've seen around is in place in some Wayne County cities, in partnership with RecycleBank. Residents are supplied with a large, single-stream recycling container. Paper, plastic, metal and glass all goes in together, and no labels have to be removed. Recycling is picked up every other week. All participating residents establish an account of sorts with RecycleBank, either online or by phone contact. Everyone gets points added to their accounts according to the amount of stuff that gets picked up city-wide every collection. The points are good for all kinds of things on the RecycleBank website, including coupons for discounts at local and national restaurants, grocery coupons, home and health discounts, sporting goods, gift cards, movie tickets, etc. This program is free to all city residents, and it has reduced the landfill fees the city pays substantially. The amount of trash left to pick up (trash p/u is still weekly) after recycling has been greatly reduced.

Eduard Copely

Tue, Aug 27, 2013 : 3:04 p.m.

We could just start burning our trash again like in the days of old. Air quality will suffer, but so what. At least the city will have more money to entice developers with.

Ryan J. Stanton

Tue, Aug 27, 2013 : 1:56 p.m.

Here's the number to the city of Ann Arbor's community standards division in case you want to report trash left at the curb: 734-794-6942


Tue, Aug 27, 2013 : 2:57 p.m.

Ryan - do you know if a complaint is required to start the process, or can a community enforcement officer initiate it (write a warning) if they come across violations?


Tue, Aug 27, 2013 : 1:37 p.m.

Couldn't the materials be used for sukhot? (its around this time of year, right?) Or maybe those little shelters the HS kids make for the homeless?


Tue, Aug 27, 2013 : 1:34 p.m.

Living in the country has its perks. Once in a while we'll put some unwanted item out at the road and within the hour it's gone....old barbecues, chairs, etc. Never had to bring anything back in.


Tue, Aug 27, 2013 : 1:31 p.m.

Seems that the land lords / ladies would have a trash deposit fee that could be used to discard the blithe that is accumulated from rental properties. This would be separate from a security deposit could only be used for removal and disposal of items left inside and outside of rooms/apartments. This could leave the security deposit for what it was actually meant to be used, damage to the property. Just seems reasonable to have tenants incur the cost of this, it might be a way to keep rental property at lower rates for those decent renters.


Tue, Aug 27, 2013 : 1:31 p.m.

One of the joys of living in a college town is dealing with student detritus. I think it's great that the city is recognizing this by providing dumpsters but should also deal with the few days in the fall (and maybe spring during 'move-out') when students give old furniture the heave-ho onto the curb. Just have a few extra dump trucks drive around and pick this stuff up, already; I'd rather use my tax dollars for that than more art-in-the-park!!


Tue, Aug 27, 2013 : 1:26 p.m.

Come on they only have the effort or concern to get them to the curb. Come on now cant cut into facebook and texting time. Students dont have that kinda fore thought its their things as is their responsibility to dispose. Maybe mom and dad can come and visit.... Pay the ticket and follow through for their kids..... Man A2 is so nice in the summer without the influx of stupid self entilted irresponsible juveniles.

simply amazed

Tue, Aug 27, 2013 : 1:25 p.m.

annarborfreecycle. I use it all the time to get rid of re-usable items as opposed to putting it out on the curb waiting for somebody/anybody to pick it up. Also is effective in the event you need/want something.


Wed, Aug 28, 2013 : 2:29 a.m.

I gave up on freecycle after 5 minutes of trying to figure out all the lame rules they have because they're hosted on Yahoo groups and not a real website like everything else.

Eduard Copely

Tue, Aug 27, 2013 : 1:21 p.m.

A while back a residential neighbor placed a few items on the curb for what I have to assume was a last ditch exercise in avoiding having to discard the items in the trash. A few moments a later, a woman from the city wrote said neighbor a ticket and handed to him and then drove off in her little Chevy Cavalier. The student move out/in ritual is different and I bet if the city and the UM got together and put their heads together they might be able to come up with a solution. However, I think the drop-off suggestion is incredible short-sighted because most students do not own or have access to vehicles to drop-off futons, desks, cabinets and the like.


Tue, Aug 27, 2013 : 3:19 p.m.

SEC fan: Would need to spray paint "SAES" on the pile. Then, yes: ART!


Tue, Aug 27, 2013 : 2:54 p.m.

Could just leave everything in place and call it "art" :-)

Robert Granville

Tue, Aug 27, 2013 : 2:17 p.m.

They got the stuff to campus didn't they? I'm a student and I was living on Golden. I drive a subcompact. I made the arrangements to move my trash to the dump on ellsworth and the bins on East I over a three day period despite not owning a truck myself. It takes foresight and a sense of responsibility. Not saying that all students will take responsibility but they have every opportunity to do so. Sure the dump fees are high but I've spent much more on alcohol throughout the years.... most students here can find a way.... they just don't. If they can pay the rents in this city they can pay to rent a truck.


Tue, Aug 27, 2013 : 1:29 p.m.

Goodness there is a solution -- there are free dumpsters available. Most students today who live off campus DO have access to cars -- their own or a friend's. If you drive through the student neighborhoods, every place has multiple cars. Folks need to take responsibility and find a way. Let's stop making excuses for irresponsible students and lazy landlords.


Tue, Aug 27, 2013 : 1:12 p.m.

The leaders and best are back to make the city a better place.


Tue, Aug 27, 2013 : 1:04 p.m.

When I saw this article I got on my knees and prayed for Jesus to save our city from evil. Thank you Ann Arbor dot com.

Stupid Hick

Tue, Aug 27, 2013 : 1:02 p.m.

Bravo! Good, informative, local journalism and thanks for the graphs.

Ryan J. Stanton

Tue, Aug 27, 2013 : 1:48 p.m.

Thanks for reading!


Tue, Aug 27, 2013 : 1 p.m.

So students and landlords (who constitute a "for-profit business) get free disposal of bulky items, while Joey Townie has to strap an old boxspring and mattress to the top of his car haul it to the disposal area and pay an entrance and disposal fee. I understand that what they are doing is the quickest, easiest way to avoid/remove the blight, but once again we are not changing student behavior, just mopping-up after them.


Wed, Aug 28, 2013 : 4:07 p.m.

Put it out at the curb and burn it?


Tue, Aug 27, 2013 : 1:31 p.m.

Maybe save your junk and haul it down to campus when the students move in?


Tue, Aug 27, 2013 : 1:30 p.m.

FYI: you don't need to be a student to drop stuff off at the dumpsters -- we frankly watch for the dumpsters and unload a few things each year.


Tue, Aug 27, 2013 : 12:46 p.m.

Is this a common ordinance in other areas as well (Ypsilanti, Ypsilanti Township)? I see this by apartment complexes all the time as they evict tenants and dump all their belongings by the street. On one hand it's kind of nice if the people can come get their stuff, but most of the time the junk sits there for a week or so and passersby stop and pick through it. Why wouldn't the apartment complexes just dump the stuff in the trash? Personally I think they care more about embarrassing the tenant than keeping their property looking clean and well kept.


Tue, Aug 27, 2013 : 12:37 p.m.

There are huge and multiple dumpsters set up around the Church Street/Oakland area for this purpose. It's free to dump things there. There is no excuse for trashing neighborhoods like this.


Tue, Aug 27, 2013 : 2:24 p.m.

Yes, justcurious, just reiterating that there is no excuse for dumping curbside. But thanks for your concern.


Tue, Aug 27, 2013 : 1:30 p.m.

Did you read the article?

Jim Pryce

Tue, Aug 27, 2013 : 11:49 a.m.

It's not only students. Lazy grown up Adults who are moving new tenants into their Condos they are renting out overload dumpsters in the community & can't walk an additional 75 yards to another dumpster, so if it's full they put it alongside the dumpster for the trash collector to put the empty dumpster back on top of, because the trash collectors don't get out of the trucks to pick anything up.


Tue, Aug 27, 2013 : 11:43 a.m.

"The city is in the process of rolling out a new solid waste plan. McMurtrie noted one of the action items in the plan involves implementing a biannual "community freebie" day to allow people — without penalty — to set items such as furniture at the curb for others to take." Great idea - lets do it quarterly! There's always someone who can use items but who can't pay to buy them or wouldn't take it unless it were free. And there's also the possibility items with scrap metal value will be put out for those willing to collect it.

Ryan J. Stanton

Tue, Aug 27, 2013 : 1:47 p.m.

Yeah, it seems it would require minimal expenditure/effort by the city (maybe a little for promotion), so I don't see why it couldn't start this year instead of waiting another year. Here's a link to the plan:


Tue, Aug 27, 2013 : 11:39 a.m.

Do you really think that the students care?


Wed, Aug 28, 2013 : 4:06 p.m.

If there damage deposit is at risk they should care. Thing is, this is not damage and I am not sure a damage deposit could be withheld for this. It should be however if landlords make it clear to their tenants.


Tue, Aug 27, 2013 : 3:14 p.m.

No, I believe you're right they don't. But...I can't understand it, and I'm not yet ten years older than most of them. I was in their position, in all reality, not that long ago. And I just CAN'T imagine behaving the way they do, throwing away the money they do, being as disrespectful as they can be. I can't pretend my parents didn't help me with my rent, but that security deposit was MINE, and I would have been damned if I wasn't going to get every dollar back. I also didn't see the appeal of living in a pit...


Tue, Aug 27, 2013 : 2:28 p.m.

The students do not care and neither do their parents who would say, "oh honey I'll pay the fine if you promise not to do it again." Yeah, right.


Tue, Aug 27, 2013 : 11:04 a.m.

Doesn't the City offer "bulk" or "large piece" disposal? Most trash haulers will take that kind of stuff it you pay a fee. Not that students would normally pay such a fee and it's good the city is offering the bulk disposal, but it seems that would be a service that all residents could use from time-to-time? There are options for those who can get a truck or trailer--AA Recycle and other reuse places will take a bit of stuff, the AA dump at Ellsworth also will take many items for a fee. Best Buy takes many electronics items back for no cost at all. Just look up what they accept online and then bring it in to the service desk.


Wed, Aug 28, 2013 : 12:51 a.m.

That's too bad. Some of the private haulers like 1-800-junk can be expensive.


Tue, Aug 27, 2013 : 1:58 p.m.

Year back, city used to offer bulky pickups - first free, then later for a very reasonable fee. Was one of the first city services to go.

Vivienne Armentrout

Tue, Aug 27, 2013 : 1:56 p.m.

No, the bulk disposal was one of the services we lost during the last wave of solid waste "improvements". It is necessary to find or hire a vehicle to haul things away.


Tue, Aug 27, 2013 : 10:52 a.m.

And now these items are being rained on... pretty much useless now.


Tue, Aug 27, 2013 : 12:58 p.m.

It's just giving it a good washing. They were useless after all the beer spills and who knows what else...I shutter to think what..

Jim Mulchay

Tue, Aug 27, 2013 : 10:43 a.m.

"Anything that's left at the curb outside of the container is a violation of the code and it can be subject to a ticket," he (Mr. McMurtrie) said - .. so question 1 - how many tickets for violating this code were written in 2012? question 4 - how many were paid (and what was the total amount collected in 2012)? question 3 - how many required court action? question 4 - who pays - the property owner or the resident - assuming the property owner did not dump the material;


Wed, Aug 28, 2013 : 4:04 p.m.

Another blister to landlords for an offense they did not commit. I guess a landlord can put it in the lease and try to keep the deposit to pay for someone to haul it awayif this happens, but what if some other landlord's tenants dropped their trash in front of another property? That is what you should do, haul your trash a couple houses down the street in the middle of the night. I am also wondering who writes the tickets. I doubt the police do.


Tue, Aug 27, 2013 : 7:04 p.m.

"...generally *should* be..."


Tue, Aug 27, 2013 : 6:07 p.m.

While I agree that it generally be easier to get some types of info from various city agencies, I'm really amazed at how some people can be so completely ignorant as to how things work, yet be so self-righteous and snide and critical of someone who is and has been a thorough reporter. Looking at the questions posed by Jim Mulchay, for example, not all of that info is available from "the city." Question 1 - Some Ann Arbor dept. or another should be able to easily report how many tickets were written in a specific time period. Question 2 (that's labeled "4") and 3 - this information has to come from the court. Question 4 - this info is easily obtained by anyone with a fraction of a working brain and a computer, via an amazing little bit of technology known as a "search." Question 4 was also addressed in the article, so perhaps some people need to work on reading comprehension before they start criticizing other people. Also, the money paid for each ticket is not necessarily the amount the city receives, as this revenue is usually shared btwn. the city, the court and, sometimes, if a citation is written under state statute instead of local ordinance, the state.


Tue, Aug 27, 2013 : 4:35 p.m.

"haven't been able to get anything from the city other than the broader civil infraction figures reported at the end of the story. I quoted Tom McMurtrie saying he didn't know the number of tickets, and I was unsuccessful in reaching out to community standards and other city administrators." This is a problem. This data should be READILY and EASILY available. Time to reduce the property taxes that go to city IT; that's a HUGE expense for A2, and I get the impression they don't really do much. How could you not be able to run a very simple report on infraction/date/paid? And if these people are unreachable, they also need to be made accountable. This is a HUGE problem. Ryan, you should eventuallydo a story on the difficulty of getting any of this info in a timely manner. That's a worthy story in itself.

Ryan J. Stanton

Tue, Aug 27, 2013 : 1:43 p.m.

I've been trying since last week to get a year-by-year, maybe even month-by-month, breakdown of the stats on tickets written for trash at the curb but haven't been able to get anything from the city other than the broader civil infraction figures reported at the end of the story. I quoted Tom McMurtrie saying he didn't know the number of tickets, and I was unsuccessful in reaching out to community standards and other city administrators. As one landlord noted in the story, the landlord gets the ticket. I read through the city code pretty carefully and confirmed with the city attorney that that's the case. Based on how the code reads and what the city attorney told me, it seems landlords can seek reimbursement from their tenants if they cause them to get fined, as long as the tenants were provided with a copy of the city code they violated.


Tue, Aug 27, 2013 : 11:12 a.m.

A good reporter would have asked these questions as he or she was writing the article. It's very frustrating that the readers have to ask these questions.


Tue, Aug 27, 2013 : 10:35 a.m.

Students don't care if it's against the law. Some use Craigslist. Many figure they'll never get their security deposit back so they do what they want.


Tue, Aug 27, 2013 : 10:29 a.m.

What about the A2/other homeowners who put free stuff on their curbs, and list in on Craigslist as "free stuff on curb"? Is that also against city code?


Tue, Aug 27, 2013 : 10:36 p.m.

Thanks Ryan, I honestly did not know that. (I live in Ypsi where we have a much more lenient trash pickup policy).

Ryan J. Stanton

Tue, Aug 27, 2013 : 7:13 p.m.

Yes, that is against city code, and it's technically a violation the minute you place it at the curb. Though, if it's a nice item that's going to get grabbed up quickly, my guess is you wouldn't get in trouble if it's gone within a day. As I quoted a city official saying in the story, the city usually gives a warning and gives 24 hours to "clean things up." Somebody in one of the student neighborhoods told me they've actually seen the city give 48-hour warning notices.


Tue, Aug 27, 2013 : 10:25 a.m.

Time for prince john and his merry men to institute a $ 200,00.00 study or better yet draft a resolution declaring trash in Oz. from students to be not in keeping with " the vision " ....instead of "meter maids " ( politically incorrect i'm sure ) we could have trash maids roaming the city ticketing piles of leftovers..or instead of all $$$ on bogus " art " you could hire people to just go around and pick it up like they did years ago..

michael Limmer

Wed, Aug 28, 2013 : 1:15 a.m.

Let us not make a single of the darling U of M princelings responsible for their actions. They are our future leaders and need to concentrate on beer pong and throwing hundreds of red plastic cups all over the front of their yards.


Tue, Aug 27, 2013 : 4:52 p.m.

they already do. they're your wonderful neighborhood "community standards" officer. of course they'd rather pay someone to come and write a ticket, rather than just paying someone to come and pick up the trash. gotta get that money!


Tue, Aug 27, 2013 : 12:56 p.m.

What's 200,00.00?