The Town of Huntington wants commercial landscaping and lawn maintenance companies to haul away yard waste instead of leaving it for town to remove.
A public hearing is scheduled Jan. 13 to consider amending the code to add the requirement.
Updated: The town said, “Any person or business entity performing landscaping or lawn maintenance services of any kind for compensation within the Town shall immediately remove the waste generated from such activities from the premises. Any person or business entity who fails or neglects to remove the waste shall be in violation…”
“What we are trying to achieve is similar to what is included in Town Code Section 133-1.1 that requires home improvement contractors to remove any waste generated by their activities from the premises. The logic behind this revision to Town Code is to avert what will likely be an increased attempt by commercial landscapers to leave the yard waste they create curbside rather than removing it from the residence and disposing of it.
“We have been looking at registering landscaping companies, which will help with the enforcement aspect. The company would have to provide their county license to register.
“Also, while the estimated yardwaste budget for 2019 went up $700,000 the actual costs through October were up 44%, $250,000 more than the same period in 2018.”
“This new requirement will not affect homeowners who bag their own leaves. We are always looking at ways to take the burden off the taxpayer, and in this case, removing the burden of a new state regulation that has caused an exorbitant jump in yardwaste collection costs,” said Supervisor Chad A. Lupinacci. “What we are proposing for landscaping companies mirrors our provision in the Town Code that requires home improvement contractors remove and dispose of waste generated by their work.”
The Town said it collects and processes approximately 14,000 tons of yardwaste annually, with approximately 7,800 tons collected during peak leaf season. The total budget for yardwaste processing and disposal increased 93% in 2019, to $1,400,000, after new state regulatory requirements for groundwater monitoring at composting and yardwaste disposal facilities took effect.
Landscaping and lawn maintenance companies have been leaving as much as 100 to 200 full bags of yardwaste at a single residential property for curbside collection, the town said, creating collection bottlenecks. Each ton of yardwaste diverted from the curb will save the Town $100.
The Jan. 13 public hearing is scheduled for 2 p.m. at Town Hall.