It isn’t just snow piling up in Ottawa’s Sandy Hill neighbourhood, garbage is as well.

Sandy Hill is at the center of a proposed pilot project to get garbage off the curb and out of sight.

“At our building it gets piled up, it overflows,” says uOttawa student Brandyn Pietrantonao, “and you can see that at other places around here too.”

Area city councillor, Mathieu Fleury, blames the garbage problem on what he calls “bunker houses” popping up in the neighbourhood, “up to thirty people in one building where it used to a single family.”

Fleury says new landlords are moving in, getting properties re-zoned, and creating these dwellings that are more like rooming houses, making the highest profits possible.

With the higher population, comes more waste and now Fleury says that waste is spilling out into yards, making much of the neighbourhood an eye-sore especially on the days leading up to garbage pick-up.

“It becomes more of a tenant responsibility and a landlord responsibility,” says Fleury. He says responsible residents are filing complaints against neighbours and that’s driving up costs for the city, “every time there is a 3-1-1 call and a bylaw officer is sent that’s $300.”

As a solution, Fleury is proposing amendments to Sandy Hill’s solid waste management guidelines. Among the changes, he wants all property owners to store garbage in the backyard, when possible, out of street view. Any new properties with six-bedrooms or more would be forced to store garbage inside and pay for private garbage collection. If a property owner violates the bylaw, they would face a shorter compliance time, from nine days to three, and if they don’t clean-up the garbage they could face hefty fines.

“Unfortunately a lot of landlords put as many rooms as you can in a building and just collect the cheques and think well that’s my revenue. It doesn’t work that way,” says Fleury.

“There is definitely a garbage problem,” says property manager Mark Mikhael, still he feels it should be up to the city to foot the clean-up bill, “adding an extra expense, you feel your taxes already pay for garbage pick-up, especially if you have to create a garbage room in the basement. It would be quite the issue. “

Fleury will consider community feedback until the end of the week, before bringing his plan to committee and council next month.