OCEAN CITY — With the hope of stemming an ongoing problem, the City Council agreed this week to increase the fine for illegally dumping trash in Ocean City.
City Manager Dennis Dare said one of the benefits to living in Ocean City is trash collection is paid for through resident, property owner and business owner taxes. Taxpayers save money through this avenue by not being charged by the state’s private collection firms.
“It costs us probably more than $100 per ton and we do 35,000 tons a year in collecting and disposing of the trash,” Dare said.
Dare explained the problem is individuals or businesses from out of town are dumping their trash into Ocean City’s dumpsters.
“This is really a theft of service because it’s the taxpayers who have to pay to get rid of this,” he said.
Dare explained that even if it’s only 1 percent of outsiders dumping trash it still costs the taxpayers anywhere between $30,000 to $40,000.
Through searching other municipality’s regulations regarding the issue, the city manager found a suitable form of enforcement in Denton, Texas. The law there states it shall be unlawful for anyone to dispose of refuse in, on or next to a private container other than the owner or persons authorized by the property owner and the Solid Waste Division may post private containers with a notice warning of this article.
The City Council voted unanimously to adopt the code. A current ordinance allows for a $100 fine, but the council also agreed to increase the fee to $250.
“I think it is a good thing I know the north end of town, like Caine Woods, gets hit hard with trash from Delaware,” Council Secretary Lloyd Martin said. “People who don’t pay for trash pickup, they drive into town and use people’s dumpsters and at times they start overflowing.”