Letters to the Editor

Trash contract reveals a larger island problem

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