[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Southampton 5-12-1987 as part of L.L. No. 2-1987. Amendments noted where applicable.]
For the purposes of this chapter, the following terms, phrases, words and their derivations shall have the meanings given herein. When not inconsistent with the context, words in the present tense include the future, words used in the plural number include the singular number and words used in the singular number include the plural number. The word "shall" is always mandatory and not merely directory.
For the purposes of this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- ACCUMULATED HOUSEHOLD TRASH
- Litter generated by households and comprised of garbage and
rubbish (including, but not limited to, bottles, cans, clothing, compost,
disposables, food packaging, food scraps, newspapers and magazines,
and yard trimmings).[Added 7-23-2019 by L.L. No. 22-2019]
- AUTHORIZED COMMERCIAL RECEPTACLE
- A litter storage and collection container which is durable, rust-resistant, nonabsorbent, watertight, capable of being closed to prevent scattering of the contents and which is used for the storage of litter emanating from nonresidential sources.
- AUTHORIZED PRIVATE RECEPTACLE
- A litter storage and collection container which is durable, rust-resistant and capable of being tightly sealed. Receptacles used for the storage of garbage shall, in addition thereto, be nonabsorbent, watertight and equipped with handles and shall not exceed 30 gallons in capacity or 100 pounds in weight.
- COMMERCIAL HANDBILL
- Any printed or written matter, any sample or device, dodger, circular, leaflet, pamphlet, paper, booklet or any other printed or otherwise reproduced original or copies of any matter or literature which:
- (1) Advertises for sale any merchandise, produce, commodity or thing;
- (2) Directs attention to any business or commercial establishment or other activity for the purpose of, either directly or indirectly, promoting the interest thereof by sales;
- (3) Directs attention to or advertises any meeting, theatrical performance, exhibition or event of any kind for which an admission fee is charged for the purpose of private gain or profit; or
- (4) While containing reading matter other than advertising matter, is predominantly and essentially an advertisement and is distributed or circulated for advertising purposes or for the private benefit and gain of any person so engaged as advertiser or distributor.
- All waste material, including rubbish, liquid waste and garbage, which tends to create a danger to public health, safety and welfare and/or which creates an unsightly condition.
- Any newspaper of general circulation, as defined by general law, any newspaper duly entered with the Post Office Department of the United States in accordance with federal statute or regulation and any newspaper filed and recorded with any recording officer as provided by general law; and, in addition thereto, shall mean and include any periodical or current magazine which is regularly published in not less than four issues per year and sold to the public.
- NONCOMMERCIAL HANDBILL
- Any printed or written matter, any sample or device, dodger, circular, leaflet, pamphlet, newspaper, magazine, paper, booklet or any other printed or otherwise reproduced original or copy of any matter of literature which does not constitute a commercial handbill or newspaper as these items are defined in this subsection.
- Any person, firm, partnership, association, private or municipal corporation, company or organization of any kind.
- PRIVATE PROPERTY
- Any vacant land held in private ownership and any yard, grounds, walk, driveway or parking area belonging to or appurtenant to any privately owned dwelling, house, building or other structure.
- PUBLIC PROPERTY
- Any and all streets, sidewalks, boulevards, alleys or other public ways and any and all public parks, squares, spaces, grounds and buildings which are owned and/or maintained by any federal, state, county or municipal authority.
- PUBLIC RECEPTACLE
- A litter disposal, storage and/or collection container which is owned and/or maintained by any federal, state, county or municipal authority and which has been designated as being for the use of the general public.
- SOURCE-SEPARATED RECYCLABLES
- Any material which is required to be separated and deposited only at designated areas at a Town disposal area or Town transfer station pursuant to Chapter 205 of the Code of the Town of Southampton.[Added 7-13-1993 by L.L. No. 23-1993]
- All unincorporated areas within the boundaries of the Town of Southampton.
[Added 9-12-1995 by L.L. No. 44-1995]
This chapter already prohibits littering and the dumping of garbage in any location within the Town other than the designated areas at a Town disposal area or at Town transfer stations. Yet, the cost for the Highway Department in 1994 for cleaning up sites where illegal dumping occurred exceeded $140,000. This cost does not even reflect the enormous volunteer effort put forth annually by the "East End Cleanup" in cleaning up illegally dumped equipment, vehicles and garbage on Town trails or the value of the lost opportunity for highway maintenance crews to be used for other projects.
More importantly, the illegal dumping of large bags of garbage on deserted culs-de-sac, down dirt trails and in other remote and sometimes pristine areas of Town is a blight, a threat to public health, safety and welfare and a threat to the ecological and aesthetic virtues of the Town's open spaces, trails, fields, woods and to some of the secluded roads leading to these areas. The 1995 amendment to this chapter providing for increased penalties of a fine up to $5,000 for illegal dumping was intended to address these concerns and to prevent any increase in these forms of pollution. It was recognized by the Town Board that, while convictions for tossing minor amounts of litter would presumably exact a range of fines similar to those imposed in the past, the purpose in adopting a higher maximum penalty was to allow the court, in appropriate cases, to punish the illegal dumping of large amounts of trash with correspondingly higher fines.
Additionally, it is recognized that it is difficult for Town enforcement officers to patrol these remote areas on a regular basis, given the vast geographical territory they cover and the isolated nature of their locations. Thus, just as the recycling program depends on the participation and efforts of all the Town's citizens, so, too, the effort to stem and control illegal dumping will require the efforts of all the Town's citizens. The reward system is enacted to encourage witnesses of illegal dumping to volunteer information leading to the conviction of those convicted of dumping on the trails.
Beyond the incentive for reporting violations and the more severe maximum penalties for offenders, the courts, of course, continue to have the discretion under the Criminal Procedure Law to implement other requirements or conditions upon sentencing, including, for example, conditions related to cleaning up sites that have been subject to illegal dumping. It is the Town Board's intent to provide the supervision and administrative capabilities to implement any such community service conditions imposed upon sentencing by the courts.
Litter on public and private property. No person shall cause litter to be thrown or deposited in or upon public or private property within the Town except in public receptacles, in authorized private and commercial receptacles or in public disposal facilities. Persons placing or removing litter in or from public receptacles or authorized private and commercial receptacles shall do so in a manner as to prevent it from being scattered, carried or deposited upon any street, sidewalk or other public or private property. Public receptacles are designed for use by pedestrians. They are intended as containers for pedestrian litter, such as candy wrappers, fruit skins, and similar light refuse. Commercial and accumulated household trash are prohibited from being placed in public receptacles.
[Amended 7-23-2019 by L.L. No. 22-2019]
No garbage, litter or source-separated recyclables, including garbage, litter or source-separated recyclables, contained in authorized private receptacles, may be placed outside for collection more than one day in advance of the day set for collection.
[Amended 7-13-1993 by L.L. No. 23-1993]
Duty to keep private property free of litter. Any person owning, occupying or in control of private property shall maintain such property, including the sidewalk in front thereof, free of litter.
Litter from vehicles. No person shall drive or move any truck or other vehicle within the Town unless such vehicle is so constructed or loaded as to prevent any load, contents or litter from being blown or deposited upon any street, alley or other public or private property, nor shall any person drive or move any vehicle or truck within the Town, the wheels or tires of which carry onto or deposit upon any street, alley or other public or private property mud, dirt, sticky substances, litter or foreign matter of any kind.
Failure to remove litter.
Authority to remove. In the event that the owner, occupant or the person in control of private property located within the Town shall fail to remove litter located on such property, the Town shall have the authority, as provided for herein, to enter upon such property, to remove the litter located thereon, to assess the cost and expense of such action against the property and to establish a lien in the manner herein provided.
Inspection and report. An ordinance inspector or such other official of the Town as may be designated by the Town Board, upon notification that litter exists upon certain private property located within the Town, may make an inspection thereof and report his findings concerning the same to the Town Board.
Notice. If the Town Board shall find that litter exists upon such private property, it may make an order by resolution, directing notice to be served upon the owner of said property as shown by the records of the Receiver of Taxes of the Town.
Contents of notice. The notice shall contain a general description of the property, a statement of the particulars with regard to the littered condition of the property and an order requiring the litter existing on the private property to be removed. The notice shall specify a time not less than 10 days after the service thereof within which the owner served with such notice must complete the removal of the litter from the property specified in the notice. The notice shall state that in the event that the littered condition on the property is not eliminated within the time specified in the notice, the Town shall undertake to enter upon the property, remove the litter and assess the cost of such removal against the property.
Service of notice. The notice may be served either personally or by certified mail, addressed to the last known address, if any, of the owner as the same may appear on the records of the Receiver of Taxes of the Town; provided, however, that if such service be made by certified mail, a copy thereof shall also be posted on the property where the litter is located. Service of the notice by mail and posting shall be deemed completed on the day on which both the mailing and the posting will have been accomplished.
Failure to comply. Upon failure of the owner of the property to comply with the notice within the time provided therein, the Town Board shall provide such labor and materials as are necessary for clearing the litter from the property and shall cause such work to be performed as will remove the litter from the property.
Assessment of costs and expenses. All costs and expenses incurred by the Town in connection with the removal of the litter from the property shall be assessed against the land on which said litter was located. The total costs and expenses shall then be determined by the Town Board and shall be reported to the Assessor of the Town as an amount to be levied and assessed against the property, and the expense so assessed shall constitute a lien and charge on the property on which it is levied until paid or otherwise satisfied or discharged and shall be collected in the same manner and at the same time as other Town charges. That portion of said collected funds which shall represent costs and expenses incurred by any department of the Town with regard to alleviating the littered condition shall be returned to that department's operational budget.
Burning of litter. No person shall engage in the burning of litter.
[Added 1-31-1995 by L.L. No. 7-1995]
Distribution on public property. No person shall throw or deposit any commercial or noncommercial handbill in or upon any sidewalk, street or other public property within the Town.
Distribution to vehicles. No person shall throw or deposit any commercial or noncommercial handbill in or upon any vehicle.
Distribution on uninhabited or vacant private property. No person shall throw or deposit any commercial or noncommercial handbill in or upon any private property which is temporarily or continuously unoccupied or vacant.
Distribution on inhabited private property. No person shall throw, deposit or distribute any commercial or noncommercial handbill in or upon private property within the Town unless the person distributing such handbill obtains the written consent of the person owning or occupying the property. However, this prohibition shall not apply to the distribution of advertising materials through the mail nor to the newspapers nor to the distribution of advertising material by any charitable organization and/or for nonprofit organizations, except that these newspapers and all such advertising materials shall be placed on private property, notwithstanding the provisions of this chapter.
[Amended 2-12-2002 by L.L. No. 2-2002]
No person or company can distribute any unsolicited print or other written material upon the property of a Town resident without first registering with the Town Clerk, by providing a name, address, and phone number of its material principle place of business and receiving a copy of the list of residents who do not wish to receive unsolicited.
[Added 2-12-2002 by L.L. No. 2-2002]
It shall be unlawful for any person to throw, cast or place upon the doorknob, door or property of any residence in the Town of Southampton who has registered his name pursuant to this section any unsolicited print or other written materials whatsoever, including, but not limited to, handbills, circulars, advertising, newspapers, and cards.
The Town Clerk shall maintain a list of all Town residents, by address, who have filed a written notice with the Town Clerk requesting that all, or certain, unsolicited print or other written materials not be delivered onto their premises.
The written notice sent to the Town Clerk by the resident shall be effective for two years, and the list shall be revised from time to time as new notices are submitted. The Town Clerk shall not be liable for any errors or omissions on the list.
[Added 8-13-2002 by L.L. No. 33-2002]
A lack of eyewitness testimony shall not bar prosecution under this chapter, and it shall be presumptive evidence, rebuttable by competent evidence that the identify of the person accused of a violation of this chapter may be established if litter or rubbish found deposited on Town property in violation of the provisions of this chapter contains substantial evidence of that person's identity.
[Amended 7-10-1990 by L.L. No. 19-1990; 1-31-1995 by L.L. No. 7-1995; 9-12-1995 by L.L. No. 44-1995; 8-13-2002 by L.L. No. 33-2002]
Any person violating any of the provisions of this chapter shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined in an amount not exceeding $5,000 or be imprisoned for a period not to exceed 30 days, or be both so fined and imprisoned. A separate offense shall be deemed committed upon each day during or on which a violation occurs or continues.
[Added 9-12-1995 by L.L. No. 44-1995; amended 8-13-2002 by L.L. No. 33-2002]
Any individual, other than a police officer, peace officer or any other law enforcement officer or official, who provides information to appropriate law enforcement authorities which shall lead to the conviction of a person or persons guilty of violating this chapter by dumping litter shall receive a payment of 50% of the fine collected from said person or persons, up to a maximum amount of $1,000 pursuant to the provisions of this chapter.