- Residents who use Dewey Beach, DE's trash collection services will now be more heavily fined if they do not remove trash cans from town's rights of way. The current fine is $10 a day, but the new rule imposes a $25 fine for the first offense, $50 for the second offense, and $100 for the third one. Residents whose trash can enclosures block rights of way will move them to their properties or pay the town $300, while commercial business owners will pay $600.
- Existing codes that will remain in place are trash pick-up schedules, times trash cans can be in rights of way, type of trash cans, and allowable trash volumes. Town officials will finalize the proposed fine increases, and a submit a letter this week to property owners explaining the change.
- The town is also considering a contract for residential trash collections and recycling proposed by Waste Industries who wants $18.88 per month for the average single-family home, though officials said the infrastructure is currently lacking.
Until now, Dewey Beach has been lax on enforcing trash codes but has decided it’s time to give residents a nudge. However, the town is doing its part too— in order to ensure that residents can comply, officials are proposing a valet service to move cans at the cost of $100 per property.
Commissioner Mike Dunmyer said these new measures will help establish a culture in Dewey, one where residents will see they have a responsibility to keep up with their trash and ultimately make it easier for the town to do the same. But that culture may need fostering in the way of pending consequences for those who fall behind.
"This is a big deal," Dunmyer said, as reported in CapeGazette.com. "People will get upset, but it’s something we need to go through."
The town is thinking about the bottom line — having a garbage system that works well. "Everything will be improved by improving trash," said Town Manager Marc Appelbaum to the CapeGazette.
Other municipalities like San Jose, CA have also established fines and considered other enforcement tools. And while Seattle considered imposing fees, people began to comply to rules after warnings were issued, so it became unnecessary.