Residents in both Larchmont and the Town of Mamaroneck have until Friday, October 30 to submit their opinions to Town Government on the take-out-your-own-trash issue.
Some Larchmont and Town of Mamaroneck residents are fighting to uphold a decades-old luxury perk, suspended during Covid, to have someone else take their garbage cans to the curb.
In Larchmont and the unincorporated sections of the Town of Mamaroneck, homeowners have enjoyed not having to cart their dirty trash cans, and instead have relied on sanitation workers to retrieve the bins from either the back or side of their homes on pickup day, a relatively rare and enviable service.
But then came Covid-19. At the start of the pandemic shutdown the local sanitation commission cut back on the “side & back door service” to which it’s referred, and instituted curbside pickup. The move was taken as a health precaution to minimize the number of workers per truck. Now the Larchmont/Mamaroneck Joint Garbage Disposal Commission is considering sticking with curbside only service to operate more efficiently, protect sanitation workers, and save money.
In an unusual joint meeting of the Village of Larchmont Board of Trustees and Trustees of the Town of Mamaroneck, some homeowners insisted that the high cost of local taxes entitles them to the the perk.
David Feldman of Larchmont said “The reality is we pay a tremendous amount in taxes and people expect top flight services…that enriches the lives of the people in our community.”
Garbage services costs for an average assessed $1,257,000 area home is $657 per year according to town officials.
Steve Altieri, Town of Mamaroneck Administrator, noted that sticking to curbside-only service will provide a safer work environment for crews often forced to carry 100-200 pounds of bags from backyards, “steep driveways, through snow, stairwells…” Altieri estimates that eliminating the perk would save at least $240,000 in a $3 million dollar budget. He explained that with curbside-only service they can consider additional recycling programs such as offering a weekly food waste pickup.
Up until late March, side and backyard service was offered for the two weekly regular garbage days. Rather than hauling the hefty cans, crews would routinely carry the filled trash bags from side and backyards. As it turns out, many residents are still unaware the service option ever existed. Others simply chose to take their own rubbish cans to the curb.
Many who use it though, seem extremely attached to the idea of not taking out their trash; According to some who spoke, having garbage cans on the curb would be unsightly. One resident complained, “It’s a shame to have bins often overturned, often blowing around often with pieces of escaped trash blowing around,” as has allegedly been the case since the pandemic suspension of on-property collection.
Many residents say they cannot get back from work in time to pick up their bins. “They are left out all day,” said Wendy Weinstein, a Larchmont resident.
Another homeowner quoted a social media comment about the issue: “It’s an eyesore to have everyone’s garbage on the curbs all day. I really enjoyed the convenience of having the trash picked up from the shed.”
Town of Mamaroneck Supervisor Nancy Seligson says it’s time for the concierge-type trash option to go away. “By bringing waste to the curb it gives us the opportunity to explore more ways of becoming more sustainable in reducing the amount of waste we produce and the way we collect it. It would give us the opportunity of exploring food waste pickup. Right now people have to bring it over to Maxwell Ave (collection facility) and we believe that if it was picked up (curbside) there would be a very large increase in the program…This is an advancement for the community to move forward and improve that service,” she says.
If the measure is approved residents age 70 and older can apply for exemption and continue to have “side & back door service.”
Some residents who participated in the online public hearing pointed out that neighboring affluent Village of Scarsdale still offers the deluxe service.
Residents in both Larchmont and Town of Mamaroneck have until Friday, October 30, to submit their opinions to Trustees on the take-out-your-own-trash issue. The date for a final decision has not yet been determined.
The Village of Mamaroneck is served by its own trash collection operation, under the village Department of Public Works, and has a similar backyard pickup program, which is also suspended because of the pandemic. So far, no indication has been given if that perk, too, may fall as a victim of Covid 19.
Click here to watch the full meeting Joint Public Hearing