Residents propose creating garbage district in Southampton

Refuse in woods along Oak Avenue in Flanders from 2012. Civic leaders say all the open space and parkland in the tri-hamlet area make it easy for people to dump. (Tim Gannon file photo)

The Flanders, Riverside and Northampton Community Association adopted a resolution Monday asking Southampton Town to create a garbage district for its three hamlets.

The district would be similar to the townwide garbage district that’s been in place in neighboring Riverhead Town for many years, except that it wouldn’t be townwide, and would only apply to the three hamlets.

Riverhead Town residents pay an annual flat fee of $282 for curbside garbage pickup for a single-family residence, $423 for a two-family residence, $564 for a three-family residence and $705 for a multi-family structure.

The garbage district in Riverhead only applies to residential properties; commercial property owners must make arrangements with a private garbage carter.

Riverhead also has curbside pickup three days a week, with one day for household garbage, one day for recyclables and one day for bulk items or household garbage, according to FRNCA resident Vince Taldone, who lives in Riverhead Town.

Residents in the three hamlets now must either contract with a private carter, which Mr. Taldone believes is more expensive than Riverhead’s system, or take their garbage to the Southampton Town transfer station in either Hampton Bays or Westhampton.

“FRNCA believes that the inconvenience and cost of the existing solid waste management system have contributed substantially to the high incidence of illegal dumping of household waste on roadsides, in preserved woodlands and in other environmentally sensitive places including wetlands and waterways,” the FRNCA resolution states.

The resolution asks the Southampton Town Board to initiate a study of the costs and benefits of creating such a district, based on the same pickup schedule as Riverhead Town’s program.

There would be a public comment period before the district could take effect, and possibly a voter referendum.

FRNCA is asking that if the district is enacted, it be done on a five-year pilot basis. This way, if it’s not working out, it can be done away with, Mr. Taldone said.

Residents proposed a similar measure in 2012.

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