(a) The commissioner of the department of highways is authorized to issue permits to counties and municipalities for the location of containers on rights-of-way of state maintained roads and highways for the collection of trash and garbage: Provided, That by the issuance of these permits, counties and municipalities will not be in direct competition with private common carriers. Private common carriers are carriers that are regulated by the Public Service Commission. Such containers may be located on road and highway rights-of-way only when authorized in writing by the commissioner or his agent in accordance with rules promulgated by the commissioner in accordance with chapter twenty-nine-a of this code. Such rules shall take into consideration the safety of travelers on the roads and highways of this state and the elimination of unsightly conditions and health hazards. Such containers may not be located on controlled-access or interstate highways.
(b) The written authority given by the commissioner is no guarantee that the state is the owner of the land upon which a container is to be located and if any question exists concerning ownership of such land, the issuance of such written authority may not be granted until the county or municipality certifies that written permission to locate the container has been obtained from any person claiming an interest in the land if such person's whereabouts can be determined.
(c) Whenever any county or municipality fails to comply with the rules promulgated by the commissioner or of any order of the commissioner for the removal or relocation of a container, the permit for such container shall be revoked and, if not removed by the county or municipality, the commissioner may remove such container and charge the expense of removal to the county or municipality failing to comply with the rules or order of the commissioner.