Residents: Garbage districts would combat dumping in Southampton

TIM GANNON PHOTO | Garbage dumped in woods along Oak Avenue in Flanders.
TIM GANNON PHOTO | Refuse in woods along Oak Avenue in Flanders. Civic leaders say all the open space and parkland in the tri-hamlet area make it easy for people to dump.

Flanders, Riverside and Northampton Community Association members are considering asking Southampton Town to create a garbage district in the three Southampton hamlets that lie within the Riverhead School District.

They see it as a way of reducing illegal dumping and making garbage disposal more convenient.

On Monday, the group heard from John Reeve, the sanitation supervisor in neighboring Riverhead Town, which has had garbage districts since the mid-1990s.

Riverhead bids out six garbage districts and currently one company serves all six districts. Residents in single-family homes pay a flat fee of $252 per year for curbside pickup twice a week and recyclable collection once a week. The district serves only residential properties; commercial property owners must contract with a private carter for garbage pickup.

By going with districts, Riverhead Town avoided the cost of building a transfer station and having a full sanitation staff to operate it, Mr. Reeve said. The town is in the first year of a five-year contract with European American Waste Disposal.

Currently, the sanitation department has two employees: Mr. Reeve and a secretary.

“I think it’s an incredibly reasonable price,” said FRNCA vice president Vince Taldone, who lives in Riverhead Town. He said some residents of Flanders, Riverside and Northampton are paying $40 per month to a private garbage carter.

In the past, Southampton Town has opposed garbage districts.

Read more, including reaction from Southampton officials, in the July 12 News-Review newspaper.

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