Southampton Town is weighing a proposal to require landlords to provide garbage pickup for their tenants, in an attempt to cut down on illegal dumping throughout the town.
The town’s move, spearheaded by Councilman Brad Bender, comes just months after many residents of Flanders, Riverside and Northampton opposed the creation of a special garbage district for their hamlets.
The original initiative was also sponsored by Mr. Bender.
“We have a lot of people who are not property disposing of household residential refuse,” he said at the town board’s Sept. 17 work session. “It’s ending up in park garbage cans, and state and county roads have garbage cans that are being filled with large garbage bags of household refuse.”
While a public hearing on the proposal is scheduled for the board’s 1 p.m. meeting this Tuesday, Sept. 22, board members decided Sept. 17 to make an amendment to the proposal that will require that the hearing be re-noticed to the public.
The amendment would require landlords to inform the town of the name of their garbage carter at all times, allowing the town to confirm with the carter that the landlord is maintaining the contract.
The board plans to open the public hearing Tuesday and then adjourn it and set a new public hearing date at the suggestion of Town Attorney Tiffany Scarlato.
As the law currently stands, the town’s rental code allows property owners to either provide carting service themselves, paid in advance for the full two-year rental permit term, or assign responsibility for garbage to their tenant.
Assistant Town Attorney Carl Benincasa told the town board Sept. 17 that the new code would remove the burden of the landlord paying for the full two years in advance, but would not allow landlords to assign responsibility for garbage to their tenants.
Landlords who do not maintain garbage service for their tenants would have their rental permits revoked.
The change would take effect with all new rental permits beginning January of 2016.
Mr. Bender said landlords can write off the cost of garbage collection as a business expense.
“I’m not giving anyone tax advice, but this is something that’s available,” he said.
Mr. Bender added that he once saw a woman pull up in a new Mercedes in front of Bridgehampton Commons, open the trunk of her car, and put two large bags of garbage at the bus stop there.
“Two years of garbage pickup would be one payment on a Mercedes,” he said.
The board is expected to set another public hearing at their 1 p.m. meeting tomorrow, Sept. 22.