Omaha hauls away horse rescue’s trash bins

Updated: May. 21, 2021 at 4:22 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - Omaha taxpayers are footing the bill for 300,000 garbage and recycling bins, so the city is monitoring where they go. One property owner was shocked to find that out.

Urban Acres Horse Rescue at 49th Street and Redman Avenue had its trash bins removed about three weeks ago, although trash is collected from inside the property and off adjacent public streets.

Zoe, 21, benefits from horse therapy at Urban Acres, said Donna Sine, her adoptive mother.

“It calms her down, relaxes her, and she loves horses,” Sine said. “Who doesn’t? "

Animals live at the stable, but humans don’t, though dozens of people visit and volunteer.

“We try to keep these horse pens clean, and we try to help out with chickens,” said volunteer Mark Brogan. “Sometimes, when trash doesn’t get picked up, it just piles up.”

Trash is collected from inside the property and a lot off of adjacent streets. But about three weeks ago, the city removed the bins assigned to the stables and won’t take them back, 6 news reports.

Carol Moss, the owner of Urban Acres, said she was angry about the decision.

“I had service here for 33 years,” she said. “I pay taxes, I got utilities and I run a nonprofit, so I serve the community.”

James Kee, Omaha’s trash collection manager, told 6 News that once the city determines no residents live on a property, the property doesn’t qualify for the service under state law. Kee said that, to provide trash pickup at the lowest cost for the taxpayers. the property must have a habitable residence. He said the city found several properties that didn’t maintain homes had “fallen through the cracks” and the city was closing the gaps.

Although Urban Acres isn’t a residence, many people who visit — most of whom have special needs — consider it a home away from home. Moss said she tries to make them feel at home, but she has a growing need for trash service.

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