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Jan 7, 2015 10:26 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

Garbage Piled Outside North Sea Dump After New Year's Closing

Jan 7, 2015 11:18 AM

Apparently indignant that the Southampton Town trash and recycling center in North Sea was closed on January 2, residents left hundreds of pounds of garbage piled outside the gates in what has become a not-so-uncommon practice during extended holiday closures.

Dozens of bags and various containers of garbage—albeit fairly neatly arranged—were tossed onto a pile that ultimately grew to 50 feet long and several bags deep near the dump entrance.

Some of those who visited the dump said that residents were irritated at the closure and left the garbage out of necessity—and some out of spite.

“At the very least, a skeleton staff at each of the dumps would allow people to dispose of their garbage,” one resident said in a note to The Press on January 2. “Most local businesses and even banks are open today. They can’t afford not to be. The town should be functioning as usual, too.”

A cyclical turn of the calendar landed Christmas and New Year’s Day on Thursdays this year, and the Town Board elected to keep all town facilities closed the subsequent Fridays, December 26 and January 2. The closure affected the trash and recycling centers, even though those facilities reopened on the weekends.

“It was a rare circumstance, the holidays falling on a Thursday, and we followed the federal government’s lead on closing down the day after Christmas,” Supervisor Anna Throne-Holst said. “It was a rare opportunity to give employees an extra day off. Studies have show how much more productivity and morale goes up after extended periods of time off.”

President Barack Obama gave federal employees December 26 off, via an executive order. Federal offices, however, were open on January 2.

The decision to close town facilities was made in early December. The board voted 3-2 to give employees both days off, in exchange for town offices being open for full days, rather than half-days, on December 24 and 31. Councilwoman Christine Scalera and Councilman Stan Glinka had voted against the additional closed days. The resolution approving the change, which required an amendment to the town’s Civil Service contract, noted that the move would cost the town about $11,000.

After the Town Board approved the additional days off—Ms. Throne-Holst and board members Brad Bender and Bridget Fleming voted in favor—town Tax Receiver Terrie Kiernan announced that her department’s offices would be open on December 26 because of the approaching December 31 town tax payment deadline.

Ms. Throne-Holst said she saw it as unfortunate that some people who had visited the dump on January 2 had chosen to leave their garbage even though the gates were locked. She noted a similar pattern on December 26 and whenever the dump has been closed the day after a holiday, like the Friday after Thanksgiving.

“It happens to us on a regular basis,” the supervisor said. “That people who are inconvenienced by that and their response is to leave their garbage on the ground is more a reflection on them. We have weekend hours at the dump—there is ample opportunity to come back. It’s akin to the people who drive to our public beaches and put their trash in bins that are not there for household garbage.”

In 2013, Ms. Throne-Holst came under fire from her political rivals for giving town employees off on July 5, which also fell on a Friday and was a day after all town facilities were closed. That bonus day off, the supervisor said, was a reward for hard work over the preceding months in the wake of the havoc wreaked by Superstorm Sandy.

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You gotta give the residents credit for being so neat...
By Nature (2966), Southampton on Jan 7, 15 12:04 PM
Hey - She's given her serfs days off at her decree for four (4!!!!) straight years! Ya know, it's a VERY rare opportunity for her to do that...

Btw, did the cops get off? Let me guess...
By Nature (2966), Southampton on Jan 8, 15 9:32 AM
Please...civil service workers get plenty of time off. It is nice to see that the Tax Receiver's office did the right thing and stayed open. I don't get it sometimes. It seems the government workers are the priority not the taxpayer. Civil service workers could have used personal or vacation days to take the time off instead of it being gifted to them! Thank you Christine and Stan for understanding this
By metsfan2 (163), southampton on Jan 7, 15 12:12 PM
1 member liked this comment
Anyone have a better solution? What are people supposed to do with their garbage if the center is closed? Should be thankful they at least left it pilled neatly at the gate. Quite often in summer we see it just dropped off on the side of the road somewhere, or pilled at a dead end or beach.
By SHResident (59), Southampton on Jan 7, 15 1:04 PM
1 member liked this comment
waiting a day until it is opened comes to mind
By dels322 (1), Easthampton on Jan 16, 15 11:58 AM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By Phanex (83), Southampton on Jan 7, 15 2:38 PM
Would be great if they piled it up on the steps of Town Hall.

Does ATH know that the calendar (and subsequent holidays) can be *predicated* FAR into the future? Maybe someone should buy her calendars so she won't be surprised...

She states it's "rare" to have the opportunity to give them time off... let's review history to see when she has done it?

January 2, 2015
December 26, 2014
July 3rd, 2013 (As a thank you for working hard during hurricane sandy - even ...more
By Nature (2966), Southampton on Jan 7, 15 3:12 PM
1 member liked this comment
Quite the neat pile. Should the rare situation arise again, perhaps placing an empty dumpster/canisters at the gate would accommodate the refused refuse.
By foodwhiner (148), Southampton on Jan 7, 15 3:34 PM
2 members liked this comment
This will not happen anymore when the plastic bag ban goes into effect.
By Toma Noku (616), uptown on Jan 7, 15 4:34 PM
keep stinky trash longer in the house?
keep stinky trash longer in car?
leave stinky trash outside to awake to a disaster from the local raccoons and varmin?

how many workers do you need to sit in the booth and watch people throw out there trash?

make it self serve and have automatic gates
the people that maybe cheat and throw out non town bags might be tossing that trash in our beautiful community and we shoud accept that loss as a town
By llimretaw (118), watermill on Jan 7, 15 7:10 PM
1 member liked this comment
i had my garbage picked up on 26th and 2nd.The driver of the truck was happy to work and have a job,when you choose to work for government you sign up to provide the service the government is mandated to provide.Another scolding of the public by Madam Subervisor,yes come back with your garbage another day....what a nerve......Bridget and Brad wise up and get some backbone Madam does not always get her own way she has just one vote like you all.
By watchdog1 (543), Southampton on Jan 8, 15 7:10 AM
1 member liked this comment
I also had my garbage picked up on the 26 of December and the 2 of January, days that I also worked. Those days were not national holidays and OUR (taxpayers) employees had off 1/2 day Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, 1/2 day on New Year's Eve and New Year's Day. Not meaning to be a hard azz , but we pay for services and should receive them. Way to go Queen Anna, good luck in the Real Estate business if YOU are not willing to put in some loooong hours!
By bigfresh (4666), north sea on Jan 8, 15 7:49 AM
Another fine example of government hard at work! You're such a cool boss Anna!
By Lets go mets (377), Southampton on Jan 8, 15 9:16 AM
I frequent North Sea, Hampton Bays and Westhampton. With the exception of one man there is zero (or less) sense of service by attendants. The one exemplary attendant (North Sea) actually helps tax payers, especially seniors with their recycles. Without exception the rest sit in their booths and don't even look up. Worse yet, when they engage in BS with other Town employees in town vehicles, they block access to the recycle trailers. Once in a downpour they didn't even look up as I had to haul ...more
By TheTurtle (143), Southampton on Jan 8, 15 2:08 PM
1 member liked this comment
Poor hiring practices, background and references must be examined carefully. Each new hire is a $250,000 + decision (wages, benefits and retirement). Some can never be motivated. If poor leadership exists, there is little chance of high performance. The taxpayers pay for everything.
By TheTurtle (143), Southampton on Jan 8, 15 3:40 PM
Not my job Mss Turtle
By watchdog1 (543), Southampton on Jan 8, 15 2:36 PM
I have a question: Will the Green Trash Bags, the ones that we pay for, also be banned from use in SH Town? Just curious.
By elliot (254), sag harbor on Jan 8, 15 3:54 PM
Michael - my office was actually open on Dec. 26 and Jan 2, and the first half deadline is January 12(because Jan 10 is on Saturday). If possible, can you correct the deadline date in the story?
By Theresa Kiernan (26), Southampton on Jan 8, 15 8:07 PM
I believe the recycle in Sag Harbor is closed on Wednesday to that means they were not there Wed, Thurs(holiday) friday (off) and opened Sat.Four days when we could not drop garbage, bottles cans, cardboard etc,, What gives with ATH that us taxpayers who have to drive to this facility cannot use is fro several days?!?!
By xtiego (698), bridgehampton on Jan 8, 15 9:49 PM
Many people leave town the day after holidays and cannot hang around to dispose of their garbage two days later. Others don't want extra bags of garbage stinking up their houses after major holidays. Taxpayers deserve to get the services they pay for and expect. The town board's giving hundreds of town government workers extra paid days off by closing Town Hall and the dumps the days after holidays is far from being careful with our tax money#badpolicy
By oystercatcher (126), southampton on Jan 8, 15 10:20 PM
1 member liked this comment
i guess the town doesn't know anything about "essential services" ...smh :/
By Jaws (245), Amity Island on Jan 9, 15 12:29 AM
1 member liked this comment
At least this closure was announced on their signs at the entrances to o the transfer stations. On July 3rd of 2014 (last summer), whomever was in charge closed the stations without notice around 1:00 PM. I drove up with a load of garbage and recyclables in my truck to find the dump closed at 2:00 PM and the sign stating that the Dump would be closed on July 4th. It's a real drag to have have 4 green town bags and all of your recyclables sorted and ready to go in your vehicle and then have to ...more
By Arnold Timer (327), Sag Harbor on Jan 12, 15 10:25 AM
1 member liked this comment