4/26/19 Editorial

(printed 4/26/19)

… they can always contract with a private hauler.

That would be one response the Town of Ocean City could give to property owners whose trash and garbage receptacles don’t lend themselves to automated collection by the Public Works Department’s standard fleet of trucks.

As department Director Hal Adkins explained to the mayor and City Council last week, the specialty vehicles the city has been using to service about 20 nonstandard locations are nearing the end of their operational lives.

The two trucks assigned this duty are 24 years old and are about ready for the scrap heap themselves, which leaves the department and other city officials to ponder how to address the issue in the nicest way possible.

As Adkins noted, requiring modification of trash pickup sites in these specialty areas could cause the loss of parking spaces, and cut up landscaping and sidewalks. At the same time, acquiring or creating another specially equipped vehicle to do the job doesn’t make financial sense.

Councilman Dennis Dare observed that getting another piece of equipment to handle 20 locations would be unfair to the resort’s taxpayers, most of whom switched to the automated collection protocol more than two decades ago.

In fact, this shouldn’t be the city’s problem at all, considering that its only option, outside of helping the people in these areas figure out a way to help themselves, is to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars so it can provide a boutique trash service.

This isn’t necessarily the fault of people who live in these complexes, and no one wishes any hardship on those who have just gone along with the program, but the reality is the program’s time is coming to a close.

It really should be up to them how to avail themselves of this city service, rather than rely on the city to figure out how to provide it.

Not to be harsh, but they only have two choices: do whatever they have to do to conform to the city’s standards, or continue doing it as they’ve always done it by hiring another provider.

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