Unanimous common council vote to Keep Oswego Clean

Local News

OSWEGO, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — “Keep Oswego Clean.” That’s the name of Mayor Billy Barlow’s effort to keep the Port City looking spic and span.

Monday night, the Oswego City Common Council’s vote was unanimous. The Keep Oswego Clean Initiative is a multi-layered approach to help encourage the community to maintain the city.

Before the vote, the public had a chance to weigh in, and only two people stepped up to the podium, both in favor of the initiative and happy about Monday night’s approval.

This proposal comes after the city’s park improvement projects and transformative efforts in areas for the community to enjoy.

The measure will:

  • Ban smoking, vaping and tobacco use on all city property
  • Double the littering fine to two-hundred-dollars
  • Add more trash cans to downtown and throughout the city parks
  • A ban on styrofoam

“The styrofoam ban speaks to the environmental protection chapter that we’re actually adding into the city code that doesn’t exist now. And I think as a waterfront community, we have more of a responsibility, more of an obligation to take care of our environment,” says Mayor Billy Barlow.

Lauren Fitzgerald, a junior at SUNY Oswego, is excited to see the city pursue this. 

“Just seeing the local government take action on it is super amazing, and it also gives faith for my generation since we’re going to feel the effects of climate change,” Fitzgerald says.

However, when it comes to the styrofoam ban, there are a few exemptions:

  • Non-profits can use the material of their choice
  • Any styrofoam use in delis is also allowed
  • There will also be a six-month grace period for local businesses to get styrofoam off their shelves

The initiative takes effect on April 22, 2020, which happens to fall on Earth Day.

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