Western Hamlets Renew Call For Garbage District

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Community members in the three westernmost hamlets of Southampton Town have renewed a proposal to create a special taxing district in exchange for curbside garbage pickup—a move they said would save residents money while curbing illegal dumping.

On Monday night, the board members of the Flanders, Riverside and Northampton Community Association passed a resolution calling on the town to study the costs and benefits of creating such a district. Currently, Southampton Town residents must either hire a private garbage carters, or purchase green bags and transport their garbage themselves to one of the town’s four transfer stations, which FRNCA leaders called “costly and inefficient.”

The hope is to tack on an estimated tax of about $23.50 per month, or $282 per year, per household in the three hamlets for garbage pickup. That would result in about $559,206 in annual revenues from the roughly 2,000 homes that would receive the service. Commercial buildings would not be serviced under the proposal.

Vince Taldone, the president of the association, explained that he examined a similar system in Riverhead Town to make such an estimate. The neighboring town taxes residential property owners the same amount monthly in exchange for curbside collection three days a week, including one day for recycling, plus front door collection for people with disabilities.

“Property owners are already paying to have individual carter contracts at considerably higher cost and often with less service,” Mr. Taldone wrote in an email.

Southampton Town Supervisor Anna Throne-Holst could not be immediately reached for comment on whether the town would consider conducting the study.

Last year, John Reeve, the sanitation director for Riverhead Town, told FRNCA members that the system has helped put an end to illegal dumping in his municipality.

Illegal dumping is so rampant in the hamlet of Riverside that Southampton Town Highway Superintendent Alex Gregor and Town Councilman Brad Bender, a former FRNCA president, spent hours last fall removing trash and debris from a town-owned property along Riverleigh Avenue. They filled a Dumpster multiple times with all of the garbage.

The resolution also states that dumping has harmed the area’s sensitive pine barrens and wetland ecosystems.

Mr. Taldone said the association would like to move forward “cautiously,” so as to make sure the proposal is properly vetted and analyzed for its cost effectiveness. Another option could be expanding the Riverhead waste collection district, which was established in 1992, to include the three hamlets, he said.

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