The Ulster town board last week approved the posting of “No Littering” signs along Glenerie Boulevard in an effort to quell an uptick in illegal dumping. Town Supervisor James Quigley III said that he’d been contacted by numerous local residents about the issue.
“It is my recommendation that the town board authorize the posting of a section of Glenerie Boulevard at the discretion of the town highway superintendent, with ‘No Littering’ signs,” Quigley said during a town board meeting held on Thursday, Sept. 5.
Councilman Rocco Secreto said that even after a recent cleanup effort, the roughly half-mile stretch of Glenerie Boulevard north of Northern Boulevard was in rough shape.
“I took a ride out to Glenerie today, and a lot of the garbage was picked up but even overnight people are throwing bags of garbage out on the road, and furniture,” Secreto said. “It’s just an easy way to get rid of something without having to pay. We should go over our fines for littering in the town and bring them up to date and find a way that we can enforce them a little better.”
Town code clearly identifies various forms of garbage and other debris as being subject to fine if illegally dumped. Among them are bulky waste, including furniture, mattresses, major household appliances, tires and carpets; construction or demolition debris; organic waste, such as meat, fat, bones, fish, fruit, vegetables, and other products used or leftover after consumption; various plastics; and general rubbish, including cardboard, paper or other household materials. Violation is a misdemeanor punishable by fines of no more than $500. The code was last amended on Dec. 18, 2014.
“I’m all for putting the signs up out there,” said Secreto, who identified other areas like East Kingston where there are similar issues. “We need to look at this littering problem. It’s getting out of hand now.”
Councilman Eric Kitchen said that illegal dumpers could be tracked down if readily identifiable household trash was reviewed.
“A lot of times people will put letters and mailings in there and maybe we can identify them, maybe,” Kitchen said.
Secreto said the town police had undergone a similar initiative nearly a decade ago. “They brought gloves in the trunk of their cars and they did go through the garbage and we did catch people,” he said, adding that it might not sit well with the police to have to dig through the garbage again. “They’re not too happy about that.”
Quigley said it was worth pursuing the matter beyond the “No Littering” signs. “We will have a discussion with the police chief.”