Talking Trash -- Again - Shooting The Breeze


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Reflecting on the fed… | Home | Buxton beach nourishm…

Talking Trash -- Again

Friday 25 March 2016 at 6:00 pm.

My friend Kathy Kiddy called me this week to ask, "Am I the only one who is upset that we are greeting our Easter visitors with piles of trash along the highway?"

Kathy lives in Buxton and owns a business on Highway 12 in Frisco called Changing Tide, a place where you can find many neat "re-purposed" items.

She is outraged about the piles of trash along the highway in the village just as Hatteras Island gets ready to welcome back visitors -- Easter is considered the start of the season, a time when many businesses are reopening after a long winter's nap.

She even sent some photos.

Is this any way to greet our Easter visitors?

Or this?

From what I've seen on social media, she isn't the only one who is unhappy with the trashy situation.

Dare County announced on its website on Tuesday, March 15, that the spring "large item" pickup would begin on Tuesday, April 5, in Buxton, Frisco, and Hatteras village and continue on Wednesday with the rest of the island's villages -- Avon, Salvo, Waves, and Rodanthe.

In Frisco, where I  live, the trash started hitting the roadside immediately and several especially unsightly piles have been growing for the past 10 days. And we have another 10 days before pickup -- which means we have another 10 days for uncaring, disrespectful members of our community to add their trash to the stacks.

Frisco isn't the only village with a trash problem, but it usually is among the worst when the county has its twice-a-year large item pickup -- not that Frisco residents are necessarily dumping the trash.  

It's really nice that Dare County performs this service for its residents and property owners, but it seems that we always have this problem. I've written about it before in this blog.

The rules are clearly spelled out by the county's Sanitation Department:

  • On this special pickup, Dare County will collect the following recyclable items: used auto tires, used motor oil (only in spill-proof containers), auto radiators, scrap metals (rims, motor parts), appliances, furniture, and mattresses and box springs. Please remove doors from refrigerators.
  • The following items will not be collected: old clothes, shoes, cardboard, etc., tree limbs, stumps, leaves, any yard-clearing debris, construction/demolition materials such as lumber, toilets, windows, doors, etc., any hazardous materials (oil-based paint, pesticides, etc.) Water-based paint can be picked up but must be dried out. All normal household garbage must be disposed of in your black can.
  • The county asks that you not place items for the large item pickup at the roadside until the day before your pickup will be held. If the county does not take an item(s) you placed on the roadside, it has been rejected and must be disposed of at your expense.
  • And -- although the county doesn't mention it because it's so obvious -- your trash should be placed in front of your property, not your neighbor's.

So everyone knows the rules, and every time, we have jerks who just ignore them and start a trash pile.  Apparently, there are plenty of other jerks on the island who are more than willing to join them and add their trash to the pile.

The two really offensive piles in Frisco, as usual, are in front of vacant lots.  They are piled with items that the county says specifically that it won't pick up -- toilets, windows, yard debris, old lumber.

Whose stuff is it?  No one seems to know.

And the junk will have been there for weeks before it gets picked up.

Of course, some of it won't get picked up because it's not on the list of items that the county will haul away.  The county says that if your trash is still there after the pickup, it's your responsibility to dispose of it.

But we know that won't happen.  The anonymous jerks who dropped their trash won't come back to get it, and, in the end, the county will end up having to deal with it.

As taxpayers, this ought to really make us angry.  These people are costing us money.

Many of us also secretly wish, the Sheriff's Office could stake out the piles, catch the perps, and haul them off to a jail cell in the middle of a landfill somewhere. Dumping is illegal -- a misdemeanor for under 500 pounds and a felony for more.

But, then, this wouldn't be a very productive use of our taxes or our law enforcement officers.

We have a transfer station -- aka dump -- in Buxton where county residents and property owners can take their trash and debris.  It's free for 500 pounds -- and that's a lot of trash.

So someone on Facebook asked a really great question.

These petty criminals obviously have the means to haul the trash to someone else's property, so why don't they just haul it to the dump?

Other folks on Facebook are questioning the county's timing on the trash pickup -- at Easter. Of course, if everyone played by the rules, our Easter visitors wouldn't see these trash piles.

Perhaps it's time for someone in the Public Works department to take another look at this issue -- or even end the twice-yearly large item pickup.

The town of Nags Head, for example, does not have large item pickups.  Instead, during the off season -- from Oct. 1 until April 30 -- residents can call the Sanitation Department to arrange to have large items and yard debris picked up from the right-of-way in front of their property.  The rest of the year, they have to haul it.  Or call a private hauler -- and there are plenty of those.

Russ Kiddy, Kathy's husband, is a sanitation equipment operator at the county's transfer station in Buxton.  He says he hears complaints from residents every time one of these large item pickups comes around.  And, he says, he also gets questions from visitors who are at the station to drop off their recyclables. "Has there been a storm?" he says they ask about the debris.

Obviously, there's not much transfer station employees can do to stop this problem.

You can, however, contact your elected officials -- the Dare County Board of Commissioners.  An email to will go to all of them.

Meanwhile, Kathy Kiddy sent some photos of better ways to greet our Easter visitors.

Like this:

And like this:



Wow you hit the nail on the head Irene. What is wrong with these people? Show a little pride in your community and the beautiful island you have the pleasure of living on. If you don’t want to follow the rules then take your crap and go live somewhere other than our coastal community! Geez!

Lenny - 25-03-’16 21:48

Every year the same thing…a small group of jerks try to ruin paradise!! As neighbors if you know who is dumping either in an illegal spot or dumping items that they know will not be picked up, put them on blast!! Call the county..SOMEONE knows who it is..someone always knows.

Ess - 25-03-’16 23:16

In the past, campers, boats and partial vehicles were also among the “Welcome’ signs for the villages.

hatrasfevr - 26-03-’16 08:02

Keep dreaming on changing anything here, but it never hurts to dream.

JimH - 26-03-’16 08:56
Mike Hansen

Yes, the whole island has a much different feel then it did years ago. Many true locals could care less about beach and road issues until their businesses begin to hurt. There’s kids walking around like zombies staring at their hands not even knowing how good they got it out here. I would hate to know what is in their pocket. There’s also a big lazy factor too. Getting out and doing something for your community is a laughing joke to many. Sad to say but most of it is a reflection of some real bad parenting. Spring is a good time to turn the tide towards better living and lifestyle. Get out and do something good for yourself and your island! It’s Easter, take a good look at yourself in a big clean mirror. Hope you like what you see…if not, change it!

Mike Hansen - 26-03-’16 09:38
Denny in Dayton

I’ve often been puzzled by Dare County’s bulk pickup policies.

If they would look at places that have more success with this I think they will find more frequent pickup will actually reduce the cost. In Dayton we can put out almost anything once a month as long as it it neatly piled, and you must call in advance to schedule the pickup (at YOUR property).

Dare’s policy seems to create a frenzy when they announce they are going to do bulk pickups the once or twice they do them.

Dayton even has an app to request services like bulk pick up.

Denny in Dayton - 26-03-’16 22:33

Hatteras folks need to step up … if you see somebody dumping go to a public phone and make a call , that way your not using your private lines and describe the vehicle if you don’t get a plate , it’s anonymous . Take ownership of the place you live . Like Ess said …somebody always knows who it is !

diver531 - 27-03-’16 20:47

I bet the county officials up north thought the road side dump and clean up was a good thing to have on Easter. For some reason they seem to think people are coming to the OBX to hang in Nags Head. Data shows over 75% of our visitors will go to Hatteras Island during their visit. Wouldn’t you?

james - 28-03-’16 12:50

driver531……….it’s hard to report people when they are sneaking out in the middle of the night dumping this stuff.

bbc - 28-03-’16 14:32

BBC – got ya … gotta get the pd’s to throw up some web cams at those dumping hot spots . James …having a tough time with that 75% number . There are difference’s from Corolla to Ocracoke that appeal to all . Just think the county officials dropped the ball having that trash pickup around Easter .

diver531 - 28-03-’16 20:47

Not to get too futuristic, but even electric vehicles which are being planned and built now will become obsolete within the lifetime of a middle age man and be replaced by advancements in present hyper loop technology. Vehicles will not have wheels and will ride on air. Everything will be built in net zero factories using all alternatives to fossil, from solar to wind to renewables. Two major US corporations and companies worldwide, including Panasonic, are on it right now.

Guest - 28-03-’16 23:13
Laurie Clements

I don’t live there but I may as well. I have a small spot in Rodanthe where I live 4 days a week and then go home to Virginia 3 days a week. Over the past month I was really surprised to see all of the large trash items on the side of the road and how long it has been just sitting there. I would love to see the current process change. Isn’t there a more secluded dump site to accommodate trash drop off and pick up?

Laurie Clements - 29-03-’16 08:46

Diver…I believe that number represents day trippers from up north hitting things like the lighthouse and Ocracoke. Regardless, coming down to see all that trash on the roadside is down right stupid. Do it in early March.

JAMES - 29-03-’16 08:55
The Crab

People don’t need the cover of darkness. They are dumping in daylight, little bit at a time.

The Crab - 29-03-’16 10:01

as i was driving through Frisco this evening i saw a woman in a newer model white SUV adding to the pile. maddening.

bbc - 30-03-’16 23:53

Also, if one has the time to load all this junk up and drive it to the side of the road, why not drive a few more miles to the dump in Buxton and leave it there????????????

bbc - 31-03-’16 07:50

BBC …that’s just called LAZY or CHEAP , let somebody else worry about it . I agree though , if it’s already in/on the vehicle , just drive it to the dump. It’s like please and thank you ….every day values are going down the toilet !

diver531 - 31-03-’16 09:11

Maybe if the dump was open past 4 pm on weekdays and all weekend, folks who work would have time to go there instead of waiting for the twice yearly pick up.

guest - 01-04-’16 15:51

Hooray for Kathy! Time for people to be considerate of the rest of the population!

Jackie - 09-04-’16 17:29

Oh Please! Look at this place in the summer with all the overflowing trash cans, stinking up the neighborhoods. Stuff left all over the yards. Trash blowing around, light pollution, stuff left all over the beach, trash on the beach. Idiotic tourists clogging all roads and stores. A little trash on the highway should not be an issue when compared to the larger mess of overpopulation (thanks Dare tourism board, now disband!).

Bud - 12-04-’16 06:35

Bud … that’s the problem .. take ownership …open your mouth when you see tourists leaving trash . Write their plate down and give it to the NPS if your shy . Make an effort …if others see you doing it , then it will be infectious and change will happen . It’s not always somebody else’s problem or issue .

diver531 - 12-04-’16 16:02

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