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Jul 9, 2019 12:37 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Southampton Town Looks To Prevent The Dumping Of Household Garbage At Beach Trash Cans

Jul 9, 2019 5:14 PM

Southampton Town officials are looking to put a stop to people disposing of household trash in town-owned garbage cans.

While some municipalities provide garbage pickup, Southampton Town requires that homeowners dispose of their garbage on their own. The homeowners have the option to have private carters come by their homes each week to pick up the garbage at curbside, or to take their garbage to any of the transfer stations in the town.

Rather than do that, some homeowners and renters dump their garbage at public trash cans at town beaches—resulting in overflowing garbage cans.

Proposed legislation would make it illegal for anyone to dispose of litter generated by households at garbage cans intended to be used by pedestrians.

Such garbage cans are typically used for candy wrappers, fruit peels or small pieces of trash, not bottles, cans, clothing, compost, food packaging, food scraps, newspapers and yard waste.

“We proposed this legislation because we get many, many calls about overflowing garbage cans, mostly at our beaches,” Town Board member Julie Lofstad said on Monday. “We have also heard from people who state they have seen vehicles drive up to a can, stuff a garbage bag—or bags—in it, and drive away.”

She said it was “pretty apparent” that some of the people who stuff their filled garbage bags into the cans are not beachgoers just looking to get rid of the trash from their time on the sand—they are throwing out their household garbage.

Currently, the law does not offer a mechanism to penalize those who use town garbage cans to throw out their household trash, simply because they are at least throwing it into a receptacle rather than illegally dumping.

“If passed, police and code enforcement officers would then be able to write a violation to someone who is using these town resources for their own personal use,” Ms. Lofstad said. “These cans are not and were never intended to hold big bags of trash generated at someone’s home.”

She added that keeping up with garbage is a full-time job for town employees that could be more manageable if the cans were used for small trash—which they were intended for.

“Our beaches are one of our most treasured resources,” she said. “We need to keep them litter free. This will be a tool to do so.”

The Town Board held a public hearing on the matter during its meeting on Tuesday—its members closed the public hearing and is expected to vote on the legislation at the next board meeting on July 23.

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This was a problem for years before we left HB in 2013. I find it hard to believe that the Town is only addressing it now. However, considering that I use to see garbage dumped on the side of Dune Road when the cans were full, I don't think the new law would stop this. It would only lead to more dumping in other places. I wonder why garbage dumping was never an issue when HB was a place of summer rentals for families and young singles? Poor HB. It's not what it used to be.
By Babyboo (293), Hampton Bays on Jul 11, 19 8:46 AM
The biggest dumpers is the local government like the SHTB upon communities west of the canal for the benefit of those who live east of it. They dump on Flanders Riverside, East Quogue and Hampton Bays.
By Hamptonsway (107), Southampton on Jul 12, 19 8:53 PM
By themarlinspike (542), Northern Hemisphere on Jul 11, 19 9:02 AM
It’s not just a HB problem. Since we started using dumpsters on job sites yrs ago, you come in on Monday with untold piles of others peoples garbage in our dumpsters. Go park at any beach in the am, fancy cars pull up, trunk opens and the trash goes into town and village garbage cans. It’s been going on forever.
By Fred s (3321), Southampton on Jul 11, 19 9:06 AM
1 member liked this comment
Well Said!!
By coxie1 (37), southampton on Jul 12, 19 5:36 AM
Put up signs make the fine very expensive $5000.00. Cameras mounted nearby
By VJI611 (2), Southampton on Jul 11, 19 9:28 AM
3 members liked this comment
See up a sting operation. Put there pictures in the paper and on tv spread the word maybe people will think twice do the right thing.
By VJI611 (2), Southampton on Jul 11, 19 9:31 AM
1 member liked this comment
Natalia Hatgis been doing it for 10 years.
By Sasa (8), Southampton on Jul 11, 19 9:32 AM
The garbage issue is the same in all east end towns in summer and fall. It’s the weekenders and folks that stay for short periods and dump their trash publicly. They don’t want to bother doing it the right way. I videoed a person on a brand new Jaguar and when they saw me I told them I was going to turn the video in they repacked their trash back in jag and left. Don’t know how it can be stopped unless you use video. And someone actually writes tickets. But we can’t upset ...more
By Rydogg97 (2), Riverhead on Jul 11, 19 9:48 AM
Here's a thought - why doesn't the Town start collecting household trash? And before anyone jumps down my throat because of the additional taxes, we're ALREADY paying the cost - whether we use a private carting company or needing to buy the special bags to take to the dump. I for one am sick and tired of seeing trash bags on the side of the roads every Sunday evening/Monday morning. If we had Town collection, that would cut down drastically on that. I say "cut down" rather than eliminate because ...more
By MrsD (53), Hampton Bays on Jul 11, 19 10:26 AM
on a lot of weekends the trash cans can fill up based on garbage supplied by beach goers alone. a bigger problem is the people who decide to leave garbage on the ground next to and around trash cans! Raise your hands locals, it's not just tourists who do this - creates such a mess everywhere
By adlkjd923ilifmac.aladfksdurwp (747), southampton on Jul 11, 19 10:41 AM
Jay and Julie the problem has been here for years, wake up. Alex took the cans from rt 24 rest area. You couldn't see the cans on monday morning. Plus it's not a town road. The rest stop on the sunrise was the same.
Pass the law and make the fines high enough to make it worth the effort. Stop the cigarette butts thrown out the windows also. Canada has really high fines for littering. Just look at our roads, a disgrace. And don't just blame our visitors...
By knitter (1941), Southampton on Jul 11, 19 10:51 AM
Remember to all of this in November, vote Rep.
By Resident tax (186), Hampton bays ny on Jul 11, 19 11:12 AM
2 members liked this comment
bid out contracts to carters who already have the expertise. Those of us that already pay would be happier to pay a lower rate with the whole town as a customer base. we don't need csea employees nor do we need to buy trucks.
By tinboat (17), hampton bays on Jul 11, 19 12:56 PM
1 member liked this comment
Rental rules should include that there MUST be a contract with a sanitation co.

I notice over the years that those who rent for the summer / partial summer are on a completely different mindset than stakeholders / owners.

Some transients simply don't care and some don't know how to do the right thing.
By Summer Resident (251), Southampton Town, NY on Jul 11, 19 1:58 PM
Lets remember that this is the Town that can't or won't enforce their occupancy laws and rarely collect on the fines for code violations. It is no wonder people are "dumping". - they laugh as they are driving out of the community.
By G.A.Lombardi (575), Hampton Bays on Jul 11, 19 2:10 PM
3 members liked this comment
It’s people in the community also. The blame is spread equally.
By Fred s (3321), Southampton on Jul 11, 19 2:29 PM
Some people will always try to save money by unfairly passing along their costs to others. I LOVE the idea of publicizing photos and names of people who are caught doing this, they should also have to pickup roadside litter (one of my hobbies) while wearing a t-shirt with their name godly printed on the back. Embarrass the heck out of these cheapskates.
By Aeshtron (431), Southampton on Jul 11, 19 8:00 PM
1 member liked this comment
Town should allow you to upload photos and videos of people dumping like you can upload to code enforcement site to report over crowding and such. I thought it was theft of services to dump your garbage into a dumpster that belongs to town or private business with 1000 fine??? Did thing change
By coolref (11), East End on Jul 12, 19 11:29 AM
If you don't enforce it, what good is a law? Who's going to stake the garbage cans? I understand the difference between household garbage and what accumulates in my truck,but I would throw away napkins, egg wrappers and bottles etc.
If you dont want people leaving garbage, remove move the cans and make everyone pack it out.
By Gene10x (27), Southampton on Jul 13, 19 10:27 PM
@mrsd is exactly right. The town should be handling this. Remember the SH dump being closed on peak garbage days... and all the bags left outside the gates? Same situation.

Pick up the damn garbage.

I learned about illegal dumping by coming out here as a kid... “Dad, why is there a couch at the end of the road?”

Hell, I’ve even picked up some stuff myself as I had a dumpster at work that is rarely full, and a pickup truck.

My personal favorite ...more
By The Royal 'We' (199), Southampton on Jul 14, 19 1:34 AM
1 member liked this comment
*the town guys.

Where did the edit button go?! And reply?!
By The Royal 'We' (199), Southampton on Jul 14, 19 1:35 AM
The renters do a lot of it and as there are many unregistered rentals, they have no need to follow a law. Remove the cans set up cameras and return to sender..
By North Sea Citizen (568), North Sea on Jul 15, 19 5:59 AM
1 member liked this comment
The town needs to overhaul the whole landfill garbage recycling program. Mandating that people use green bags is so stupid. I have seen many people trying to do the right thing and bring their trash to the dump only to be turned away because they don't have a green bag. This causes them to dump their garbage at the town beaches or private dumpsters. There has got to be a better way or managing the town garbage situation. What does it cost to print the bags and distribute them and collect the ...more
By harbor man (47), sag harbor on Jul 16, 19 5:23 PM
2 members liked this comment
Since you can’t buy bags from the attendant, Vending machines at the transfer stations to distribute the bags may be worth a look.
By A Great American (103), East Quogue on Jul 16, 19 11:13 PM
1 member liked this comment