Watertown's Word Of Warning About Kicking Couches To The Curb

Watertown's Word Of Warning About Kicking Couches To The Curb

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"The weather broke and a bunch of people decided to just throw their couches and chairs next to the road. I've gotten a lot of complaints about that. I've seen it a lot," said Watertown City Council Member Cody Horbacz. 

Driving down Watertown streets, where you normally see trash bins, you'll find couches. 

Residents have been kicking couches to the curb without notifying the city first.

"Unfortunately, we have a lot of times where people just place them out and assume it's going to get picked up right away. A lot of times it doesn't get picked up," said City Manager Rick Finn. 

Finn says the city will pick up the furniture for a fee, but that cost becomes more if the couch sits at the curb and you don't tell the city it's there because that's a code violation.

"If they take care of it from the first letter, they're fine. It doesn't cost them anything. If we end up having to go back, reinspect it, find it there, and send it to the Department of Public Works for cleanup, there's a $250 surcharge on top of whatever DPW charges to pick it up," said Shawn McWayne, Watertown codes supervisor.

Getting rid of a couch can be complicated. Charities like the Salvation Army aren't interested.

Major Dennis Smullen says the furniture needs to meet a certain criteria to get picked up and resold.

"If it's left for dead, it has no usable or serviceable life left in it. It wouldn't even be interesting for a family in need of it," he said.

But that left-for-dead love seat can't just sit on a city curb.

"You just can't set them out on a random basis. You need to contact us," said Finn.

One program to help is the city's summer pickup program where things like a couch and chair would be picked up for a fee.

The city is considering moving that up to the spring. 

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