The Commissioners will address possible changes to the new ordinance at their February 19 meeting. The first topic on trash is a proposal from Commissioner Butler with changes he would like to see made to the ordinance.
1. Island-wide rollback. Empty Trash and Recycling Containers will be rolled back to the street side of the home, under the home or to a corral if available.
2. Trash corrals are allowed.
3. Full containers would stay at the curb until emptied.
4. Containers can be rolled to the curb early. Eliminate the 48-hour street-side requirement before the designated collection day.
5. Enforcement fines would still apply to those not following the yard waste requirements and those placing trash on the ground or on top of trash containers.
The second agenda topic on trash is to amend the ordinance to push back the start of penalties until May 1, 2020. Also on the agenda is the bid selection for a rollback contractor. The apparent low bid is Fulwood’s Lawn Service Plus at $52,416 annually for island-wide rollback.
You can read the details in the Commissioner’s Packet by clicking here.
New Trash Ordinance
There is a new ordinance, 18-16, for trash pick up and it went into effect December 19. HBPOA recommends that you read the ordinance and consider how it applies to your situation. HBPOA has heard a lot of concerns about the new ordinance and have shared these concerns with the Commissioners in writing, at the BOC meeting and in person.
The Commissioners have decided that roll-back service will be provided to all homes, not just Ocean Blvd. They have not decided on roll-out service.
Where Your Trash Bin Can Be Kept
New Ordinance: the “intent” is for cans to be under the house or alongside houses that have the ground floor enclosed. This is the reason the BOC is now looking at forcing property owners to remove their corrals. The stated reasons for this are that the garbage smells and walkers/bikers can smell it in the corrals and that the cans are more secure from wind under/beside the house.
- Trash does smell, which is why some owners want the cans in a corral away from their house.
- The cans in the corrals are more secure from storms than when unsecured under a house. This is especially true for oceanfront homes.
- Many owners do not want the trash near their house because renters/guests occasionally dump hot ashes from grills or live cigarette butts in the trash. They are concerned about the fire hazard with the cans under the house and feel it is safer away from the structure.
- Trash near the home can attract pests such as insects and wildlife.
- Some homes use all the space under the homes for parking, taking a spot for trash cans violates the parking plan submitted when the home was built.
- Some owners feel the corrals work for them and their guests, they have used them for a long time and are happy with the arrangement.
- It is unclear that the Town can tell an owner where to keep their cans
- Unless it in the right-of-way, it is unclear that the Town can insist you remove your trash corral because it is not a structure, no permit was required to build it. Ironically, in the late 1990’s the Town encouraged owners to build corrals as a solution to the trash problems at that time.
New Ordinance: Violators will be fined $50 per day and each day constitutes a separate offense. Fines will be the responsibility of the property owner. The Commissioners did remove the criminal violation – it is now only a civil violation. Fines will not start until May 1, 2019.
- Owners with rental properties cannot control when cans are rolled out.
- Non-resident owners typically roll their trash to the curb before returning home to their primary residence. The suggestion that they take their garbage home with them is not sanitary or practical.
- Service providers and contractors often roll cans out if they have filled them while working.
- Owners have returned from being away and found that their cans were used by others and were rolled out.
- The ordinance was approved without a solution in place. The Commissioners are addressing roll-back, but not roll-out. They are placing the burden on the property owners to find a way to comply with the ordinance, or be fined. They believe strong enforcement and penalties will make the property owners come up with a solution.
- Rolling back full cans: the Town is planning to change the roll-back service to roll back full cans that were not placed at the curb in time for pickup. As a result, the full trash can might sit under the house for an extended period of time (i.e., until the next time someone occupies the house).
- Lack of notification and lack of communication: the Town has not let people know about the ordinance change. Property owners need time to address these changes.
- Expense to the Town and impact on taxes: Besides covering the expense of roll-back, additional funds will need to be spent on enforcement prior to and after each trash pick up.
- Lack of other attempts to correct: A better method might have been education first instead of an ordinance that some cannot follow with draconian fines.
HBPOA recognizes that cans should not be on the edge of the road for long periods of time. It is unsightly for owners and visitors and blocks the line of sight for drivers. We also recognize the vast majority of property owners will not be able to meet the timing requirements of the new ordinance (i.e., 89% of property owners don’t live on the island). Non-resident property owners pay the same taxes (some also help contribute to rental taxes) and are entitled to basic Town services, such as trash pickup. The Town should not shirk its responsibility to meet the needs of its taxpayers.