Trash contract reveals a larger island problem

newsroom@islandpacket.comFebruary 23, 2014 

The recent demise of the Town of Hilton Head Island's trash/recycling contract brought to light several issues. It exposed several vulnerabilities and provided an opportunity to address a multifaceted problem that has long been the subject of debate during our heavy tourist season.

From traffic patterns, and verified by the complaints regarding trash removal, most weekly rentals turn over on Saturdays. That means the present guests need to vacate the property in the morning, the property then needs to be cleaned, and the trash removed by check-in time for the new guests in mid-afternoon. This causes a mass exodus of vehicles on Saturday mornings and a mass influx on Saturday afternoons.

We have already witnessed the failure of a single trash company to pick up all the debris within the allotted time frame.

One could argue that simply having more trash companies serving the rentals would solve the problem.

However, it may only solve one of the challenges.

A more comprehensive solution would be to spread the check-in/out days over two or three days, thus spreading the workload required over more days. Many resort communities use this simple solution, having a third of their rentals from Friday to Friday, a third Saturday to Saturday, and a third Sunday to Sunday.

The impact on traffic would be significant, cleaning crews would be under less pressure, and the trash pick up could be spread over three days. There would be a multitude of other tangential benefits.

Peter Kristian

Hilton Head Island

The Island Packet is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service