Will garbage district curb illegal dumping?


Would the creation of a municipal garbage district help curb illegal dumping in Flanders and Riverside?

The president of the Flanders, Riverside and Northampton Community Association thinks so.

“Most of the complaints we get are about debris and garbage,” FRNCA president Vince Taldone said at the group’s meeting Monday. “If we had municipal garbage pickup, there would be no reason to dump.”

In a garbage district, such as that in Riverhead Town, residents pay a flat tax annually for garbage pickup, which is collected curbside in front of their homes.

In Southampton Town, residents who don’t contract with private garbage carters for curbside pickup must pay for special town garbage bags to dispose of unrecycable trash at town transfer stations. Recyclable garbage can be disposed of at transfer stations for free, as the program aims to create an incentive for recycling. The bags cost $14.50 for five 33-gallon bags and $7.50 for five 13-gallon bags.

“Garbage for us here in Riverside and Northampton has been a real problem,” said Brad Bender of Northampton, a former FRNCA president. He said that during cleanup efforts, volunteers filled a 20-yard dumpster with items illegally dumped on Point Road in Flanders.

“This is just something we need to think about,” Mr. Bender said.

In Riverhead, owners of residential properties pay a flat fee of $356 for garbage pickup at a single-family residence, $534 for a two-family residence, $716 for a three-family residence and $890 for a multifamily structure. Owners of commercial properties must contract with a carter. Riverhead Town contracts with a private firm to do the municipal pickup. Usually, just one firm does the whole town, which is divided into six districts, although there have been years in the past when more than one firm was selected. Riverhead Town picks up non-recyclables twice a week and recyclables once a week.

The idea of creating a garbage district in the Flanders/Riverside/Northampton area has been brought up before.

In 2000, some residents urged Southampton Town to create a garbage district in the area, but it never happened.

“The garbage district got mixed reviews and I don’t think it has support from a majority of the members of this Town Board,” then-Southampton Councilman Skip Heaney said at the time. “There is support for a small transfer substation, but we haven’t identified property that would be suitable for it.”

The transfer station idea also never came to fruition.

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