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Jul 19, 2016 2:16 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Yacht Trash A Growing Problem At Long Wharf In Sag Harbor

A trash bin on the Long Wharf in Sag Harbor. KELLY ZEGERS
Jul 20, 2016 4:33 PM

Sag Harbor Village is dealing with a ton of garbage at Long Wharf—literally.

The Highway Department picked up at least 2,000 pounds of garbage each day at the spot, most of it dropped off by visiting luxury yachts, according to the village public works superintendent’s monthly report for June.

Garbage is now picked up at Long Wharf twice each day in summer, in the morning and afternoon; in past years, it was picked up only once daily. On the weekends, a four-yard container is placed on the wharf to accommodate the increased volume of trash that accumulates.

There is a fee to dock at the Long Wharf, and it covers garbage collection. Garbage on the dock also comes from boats that are moored within the harbor, or docked in the nearby marina. But boats outside the breakwater, and thus outside the village’s jurisdiction, also use smaller boats to shuttle in to Long Wharf to drop off bags of refuse.

“They’re not paying for a mooring, not paying for a spot on Long Wharf—but we’re dealing with their garbage,” Trustee Ken O’Donnell said.

Superintendent of Public Works Dee Yardley said he could not say how much picking up trash at Long Wharf alone was costing the village, as the overall cost is not broken down by zone.

Village officials had planned to address the summer garbage issue at Long Wharf since September, with the goal of having a resolution by this summer, but other matters took precedence, Mr. O’Donnell said.

One idea for next summer is to extend an old mobile dock, which sits between the Breakwater Yacht Club and the wastewater treatment plant, by 100 feet and allow garbage to be dropped off there instead of publicly accessible Long Wharf—and possibly have yacht owners pay for a permitted use of the garbage service. A fee could help the village break even on the cost of whatever garbage system is put in place for the yachts, Mr. O’Donnell said.

“Whatever they decide, everybody’s thinking about it now,” Mr. Yardley said.

Mr. Yardley said he once saw a dinghy, dispatched from a yacht that was not docked at a yacht club, pull up to Long Wharf, and its occupants dropped off six bags of garbage there. He said they most likely would not have been charged with littering, as they placed the garbage in an area where trash is collected, and so technically didn’t violate any law.

“They were nice and neat about it,” he said. “They didn’t just throw it over the edge and run. They probably knew there was nothing we could do, and they were just doing their job.”

He added, “Boat people are very meticulous with their garbage.”

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What's wrong? Gotta spend some of that tax money they collect. Wahhhhh!!
By HaMpToNzSukS (12), east quogue on Jul 19, 16 3:04 PM
What's wrong? Gotta spend some of that tax money they collect. Wahhhhh!!
By HaMpToNzSukS (12), east quogue on Jul 19, 16 3:04 PM
Quite literally, first world problems.
By johnj (1020), Westhampton on Jul 19, 16 3:06 PM
omg what a problem lol
By chief1 (2791), southampton on Jul 19, 16 8:17 PM
"First World Problems" I love that and I will use that statement from now on.
Garbage from yatchs are piling up at the dock where the yatchs pay to dock their yatchs, and said fees includes the pick up of thier yatch trash. Maybe the trash pick-up is the problem, not the generation of said trash.
On a serious note. This has been an on going problem and regular non yatch citizens are inconvenienced. I am on the wharf throughout the year. Sometimes I notice there are no trash cans because ...more
By deelove (152), Bridgehampton on Jul 19, 16 8:44 PM
Actually village guys don't mind getting paid to do this twice a day 7 days a week. Overtime???? Its the business owners and residents that complain about it.
By squeaky (291), hampton bays on Jul 21, 16 6:59 AM
Beee yatch'in bout the yachts
By dave h (193), calverton on Jul 19, 16 11:24 PM
If your lines on the dock are not properly twisted into a perfect Flemish coil, you might be yacht trash...
By loading... (588), quiogue on Jul 20, 16 7:29 AM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By SlimeAlive (1181), Southampton on Jul 20, 16 7:54 AM
More "do as I say not as I do" from the monied elites whose carbon footprint exceeds that of many small nations.
By SlimeAlive (1181), Southampton on Jul 20, 16 7:54 AM
Charge the yachts for garbage disposal in a designated area with appropriate recycle separation stations. It will be disposed of properly and since they have to pay for it a hired staff member can be sure that it is done in an orderly and appropriate fashion.
By Vikki K (490), Southampton on Jul 21, 16 11:48 AM
In other news, it's has been revealed that pedestrians are filling the garbage cans that line Main Street without paying any fee.
By diy_guy (101), Southampton on Jul 21, 16 12:13 PM
1 member liked this comment