OCEAN CITY — Offseason trash barrels on the beach are not necessary, according to Public Works Director Hal Adkins.
During a budget wrap-up session last week, Adkins was asked for an update on a proposal to add some of the familiar blue trash barrels on the beach during the winter months. Adkins said he has received few complaints in his 38-year career with the city on the topic, saying, “I can name on one hand in any given year the number of complaints that we would get relative to any trash cans on the beach in the winter months. I realize it may be personal to some if they’re out there and walking a dog or whatever, but we haven’t gotten many complaints otherwise.”
Adkins explained limited complaints come at times when the weather is unseasonably nice in the winter months and more people are out on the beach than usual. He said, “How many days in early April or late October that would occur is not many versus the number of days we may have weather that is not fit for beachgoers or it is windy and I end up with cans rolling out into the ocean.”
Adkins said putting trash barrels on the beach in the winter months was a policy decision left up to the Mayor and Council.
“My initial stance is I work for you,” he said. “I would prefer not to put barrels on the beach in the winter months. There is an adage that the cure might outweigh the problem.”
He also warned putting trash barrels on the beach would mean more than simply deploying them. The barrels would have to be routinely emptied, requiring more manpower and payroll.
There was also an issue raised if barrels could be placed at street ends so wintertime beachgoers could have a place to dispose of their refuse. Adkins said that already happens.
“Another issue raised is could we put trash cans at the head of specific streets,” he said. “We already do that for many streets from north of 118th Street to the Delaware line. Those are normally removed during the winter months.”
The council expressed no desire to add trash barrels to the beach in the winter months beyond the existing graduated schedule.
“I agree with you Hal,” said Council Secretary Tony DeLuca. “This has been discussed many times on the Green Team. The negatives far outweigh the positives. I live on the beach and out of 196 people in our building, only one has ever mentioned putting trash barrels out on the beach in the winter.”