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Proposed Change to Waste Container Ordinance

Did you know? Waste containers stored in public view is the most common violation type in the city each year in residential neighborhoods.

On September 12, 2022, the City Council passed on first reading the proposed change to the ordinance with the following modifications for consideration:

  • Remove the requirement to screen containers stored in the side yard adjacent to streets on corner lots.
  • Limit screening requirements to the front view only and require screening at least 3 feet wide and up to 6 inches below the containers and bring back vegetation as an approved screening material.

Share your thoughts in our Waste Container Ordinance Comment Form!

Current Ordinance: Fully screened from public view. Staff Recommendation: Beside the garage and behind the front plane of the house. Council Consideration: Behind front plane of the house and front screening only. Council Consideration: Behind front plane of the house and front screening with vegetation.


Brooklyn Park city code currently requires all waste containers to be stored out of public view.  Recently, cities around the metro have updated their waste container storage requirements allowing more storage options for residents before and after pick-up day.

Currently, the city receives complaints from a small number of residents for waste containers stored in public view. This requires city inspectors to dedicate large amounts of time and resources on small pockets in the community. As a result, certain neighborhoods are getting more enforcement and inspectors do not have time to focus on bigger neighborhood issues that impact livability citywide.


Most other surrounding cities currently allow side yard storage without screening. Below is a map showing which do and do not allow side yard storage in this way.

Barriers to compliance

Maintaining long-term compliance (waste containers stored out of view at all times) can be difficult for residents due to a variety of factors:

  • Seasonal changes – waste container storage locations can fluctuate during the summer and winter months.
  • Residents with physical limitations struggle to stay in compliance.
  • Some properties present challenges to meeting the code.
  • Single-car garages, screening options can be a problem for some residents because of the shape of their lot, fence location limitations, or cost of installation.

Proposed changes (Staff recommendation)

The proposed ordinance amendment would allow a third option for residents to store their waste containers in the side yard at single- and two-family properties. This amendment will also help address some the factors mentioned above that bring properties in and out of compliance.

The proposed change does not allow:

  • Waste containers to be overflowing
  • Accumulations of bags of waste stored outside of a container
  • Litter and trash to blow around the neighborhood
  • Lessen the rules/bylaws at Homeowner Associations. These rules can remain in place

Process and timeline

1972 – Ordinance was enacted

2010 – Council voted to disallow screening with vegetation

June 6, 2022 – Council work session. City Council was in favor of the additional storage option in the side yard and bringing back vegetation as a screening material

August 1, 2022 – Presentation at the joint Commission/Council meeting

August 22, 2022 – Public hearing and first reading result was a tie.

September 12, 2022 – First reading before Council

December 5, 2022 – The second reading is Monday, December 5, 2022 at 6:00 p.m. in the City Hall Council Chambers


  • For more information, contact Jason Newby at 763-493-8072 or
  • Para asistencia, llame: Abigail Renteria, 763-315-8418.
  • Yog xav tau kev pab, thov hu rau: Pang Yang, 763-424-8000.
  • For reasonable accommodations or alternative formats please contact Josie Shardlow at 763-493-8388 or