Lingering trash angers some Riverheaders

BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO | Trash on Northville Turnpike in Riverhead Thursday morning.

Some Riverhead residents were surprised to find their garbage wasn’t picked up the Tuesday after Memorial Day, as it had been for years.

It’s part of a new garbage pickup policy effective this past January, a town official said. And it was advertised and the changes were mailed to each resident.

“We expected this to happen,” said John Reeve, superintendent of the town’s sanitation department. “We’ve been getting calls from members of the public who didn’t read the schedules properly or read them at all. People are getting edgy.”

Mr. Reeve estimated getting about 15 calls and hour from residents, some confused by the new policy and some irate.

Other town officials said Wading River residents were reporting problems with raccoons ransacking the trash that hadn’t been picked up since Tuesday.

The town’s holiday policy now eliminates the pickup for that day, while keeping all other collection days that week on the same schedule.

“The schedule doesn’t change anymore… you just have to wait three days,” Mr. Reeve said.

A phone message at the Town Sanitation Department explains the policy to residents and the information is also available on the town’s website.

The new policy with carter European American Waste Disposal saves the town money by including roughly the same number of garbage pickups for a rate “almost half as low” as in previous years, he said.

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