Southampton Town Board expected to drop garbage district plan

A proposed garbage district for Flanders, Riverside and Northampton appears to be heading for the dumpster itself.

The Southampton Town Board is expected to vote Tuesday afternoon on a resolution to reject all eight bids it has received from garbage carting companies, Councilman Brad Bender said.

The Town Board doesn’t intend to seek new bids on the proposal, at least in the near future, and won’t proceed with the garbage district proposal this year, he said. The idea of a garbage district could still be revived in the future, perhaps in a wider area, but the plan won’t be revived anytime soon, he said.

The Town Board also plans to issue a press release Tuesday explaining its position regarding the garbage district proposal, Mr. Bender said.

The plan would have created a garbage district in Flanders, Riverside and Northampton and require property owners to pay an annual tax for curbside garbage and recyclable pickup.

If the Town Board decided to move forward with the plan, then the town would have held a public referendum, Mr. Bender said. The proposal, which is modeled after Riverhead Town’s garbage district created in 1993, has met with widespread opposition.

Many residents have voiced their opposition to the plan during recent public meetings and said they believe the estimated cost of about $25 per month, or $300 per year, would eventually increase. Other reasons to oppose the garbage district have included not offering residents a choice between who they get to pick up their trash.

“In the end, the people that wanted it didn’t show up at the meetings and the people that didn’t want it did,” Mr. Bender said.

He said he believes there are a lot of people that are in favor of a garbage district, but they decided not want to come to public meetings to state their support.

Mr. Bender said he plans to work on other garbage-related issues, such as  requiring landlords to have a garbage collection agreement in place as a condition of a rental permit and a state-required permitting and tracking system for garbage carters that will allow the town to keep track of how much garbage is collected and recycled.

The idea of the garbage district was suggested by the Flanders, Riverside and Northampton Community Association, which felt the plan could reduce illegal dumping and lower costs for residents.

Frank Fisher, the owner of Go Green Recycling, and his brother, Ron, were among the most vocal opponents of the garbage district plan.

In an interview, Frank Fisher said he was thankful for the people who rallied against the proposal.

“The people came out,” he said. “It was great to see everybody come together and voice their opinion and support the local businesses. They were all taxpayers who are tired of being milked.”

[email protected]