No Place to Toss Your Takeout Trash?

On Tuesday, July 13, The City Council’s Solid Waste Subcommittee discussed the possibility of requiring takeout and drive through restaurants to have outdoor trash receptacles for their customers’ use. Councilor Luke Lanigan had requested to have this item put on the agenda.

Councilor Lanigan pointed out that many restaurants have reduced or eliminated the number of outdoor trash receptacles, causing those businesses who still have them to be burdened with an overflow of trash. He argued that it also leads to more litter in the community in general. He said businesses should have to provide receptacles commensurate with the amount of trash they generate.

Councilor Bob Stackpole agreed. He said businesses that generate takeout trash are cutting their own waste disposal costs by making residents take their trash home, but this puts the burden on the City and taxpayers instead. He suggested looking at the ordinances of other communities that have dealt with the issue, to provide a model for Sanford to follow.

There was discussion about how to determine how many trash cans a business would be required to have. Public Works Director Matt Hill said that trip volume generation standards are widely used in the development process to determine how much traffic a given type of business will have in a given location, and that waste generation might be tied to that in some way. He added that trash receptacles could be placed in locations that deter their use by non-customers.

City Manager Steven Buck will research other communities and report back to the Subcommittee at a future meeting. Councilor Stackpole suggested that Planning and Code Enforcement staff be involved in the discussion as well.