The old comfy couch on your front porch may soon have to go — as will the blue, black and green bins cluttering your front yard — if a number of amendments to Ottawa city bylaws are approved.
The city's community and protective services committee will debate the amendments to its "property maintenance bylaw" on Sept. 19, as part of a plan to deal with vacant or derelict buildings.
The proposed changes would require homeowners to keep recycling and organic waste bins in the back or along the side of the house, along with the garbage can, unless they are put out for collection.
Chairs and couches meant for indoor use will also no longer be allowed on front porches or lawns.
Clutter worse in university neighbourhoods
"A lot of outdoor furniture now is upholstered, is beautiful and it's intended to be used outside. So all we are saying is that if it's manufactured and intended to be used inside, then it shouldn't be outside," said Linda Anderson, the city's chief of bylaw and regulatory services.
The clutter is worse in high-density neighbourhoods, like those near Ottawa's two universities, added Anderson.
She said leaving green bins in front yards can be problematic in high-density neighbourhoods if everyone starts to do it.
"It starts to draw rodents … raccoons, those kinds of animals around. So we just wanted to expand [the rules] a little bit in terms of garbage receptacles so that whenever possible they should be in the backyard or in the side yard," said Anderson.
If passed, the changes would go to city council for approval on Sept. 25.