OCEAN CITY — With the arrival of Memorial Day weekend, hundreds of the iconic blue metal trash cans are now lining the beach, but residents and visitors in some areas are getting a first look at some new and larger ones.
As of late Thursday, over 550 of the blue 55-gallon trash cans had been placed on the beach from the Inlet to the Delaware line. However, residents and visitors in some areas will see new 300-gallon flip-tip trash cans on their beaches. In an effort to stem problems of overflowing at peak times, the town’s public works department last year began a pilot program to utilize the 300-gallon trash cans in high traffic areas.
“As for the 300-gallon capacity containers, we are entering the second year of a pilot program to evaluate the success of these larger containers,” said Deputy Public Works Director Jim Parsons. “Last year and again this year, there are nine 300s between the Inlet and the pier and seven from the north side of the pier extending north to 1st Street.”
Parsons said the pilot program has been extended to the north end of town in the often-densely populated high-rise condominium area. As a result, there are 18 300-gallon trash cans located between 94th Street and 112th Street, bringing the total for the summer of 2018 to 34.
“The purpose of this program is one, to evaluate the effectiveness of the 300s in reducing the overfilling and subsequent spillage that occurs during peak times from the 55-gallon cans,” he said. “The second purpose is an attempt to further improve the efficiency of our beach trash removal program, which has been greatly enhanced with the acquisition of the new beach trash truck last year.”
Last year, the town purchased a new state-of-the-art trash collection truck to remove the mountains of trash collected each night in the summer from the beach. The new trash collection truck has been called a “game changer” for how Ocean City manages the tons of trash cleared from the beach each summer night.
After a successful first year, town officials this winter approved the purchase of a second state-of-the-art trash collection truck, which will be pressed into service this summer. The intent is to phase out the use of two Broyhill beach trash trucks that have outlived their useful purpose.
The old Broyhill trucks were kept in service last summer as a back-up plan of sorts if the new trash collection truck broke down or did not operate as expected. However, with the success of the new trash collection truck last year, a second truck was purchased this year.