A sign at the Tisbury landfill reminds residents that as of Thursday, July 1, the start of the 2011 fiscal year, a new vehicle landfill sticker is required to dispose of trash.
Landfill attendants generally provide a grace period before full enforcement is in effect.
Although commonly referred to as landfills or dumps, there are no longer landfills on the Vineyard in the strict sense of the word. All trash is deposited into large metal dumpsters that are then shipped off the Island.
Arriving at the Tisbury dump on a hot day with a vehicle full of trash that cannot be disposed of because a resident does not have a current landfill sticker is likely to prompt the question, “Can I buy a sticker here?”
Unlike the other five Island towns where vehicle stickers cost $10 and may be purchased at the local landfill, the answer in Tisbury, where stickers cost $25, is no.
Vehicle stickers may only be purchased at the Tisbury Department of Public Works (DPW) building, located on Highpoint Lane off State Road several hundred yards from the landfill shack, from Monday to Friday between 8:30 am and 4:30 pm.
Tisbury DPW director Fred LaPiana said vehicle stickers are not available at the landfill because staff are too busy and not prepared to adequately check residency status.
“They have to do a background check to see if the individual who is requesting a sticker is actually a resident,” Mr. LaPiana said. “The landfill folks, especially on the weekends, don’t have access to that information so if there is a question on residency they do not have the ability to solve it.”
Asked why the landfill attendants could not check names against a master list and simply defer any questions when issues of status arise, Mr. LaPiana said it would be too complicated. He said it is an extensive list and the attendants are very busy in the summer.
Mr. LaPiana said that if anybody wants a sticker who cannot get to the office, they could call the DPW office. “We’d be happy to mail them one, if they send us a check,” he said.
In an effort to ease the inconvenience for people with work schedules that do not allow a trip to the DPW office, the energetic Barbara Flanders, who has brought new order to the landfill, recently suggested to Mr. LaPiana that the DPW might provide a mail-in option. Mr. LaPiana gave the go ahead.
Ms. Flanders created a form that she keeps at the landfill shack and hands out to people upon request. Residents are asked to provide address and vehicle information, enclose a check for $25, and send it to the DPW office with a self-addressed stamped envelope.
“We are going to do it on a trial basis because it may not work out,” Mr. LaPiana said of the one-page forms.
The Island is divided into two trash districts. Tisbury and Oak Bluffs are part of one district. Each town sets its own rates and provides a separate drop-off facility.
The Tisbury facility where residents may bring trash and recyclables is open from 8 am to 3 pm Monday through Friday, and 8:30 am to 3:30 pm Saturday and Sunday.
The Oak Bluffs landfill is open Monday through Saturday from 7 am to 2:45 pm.
Edgartown, West Tisbury, Chilmark, and Aquinnah make up the Martha’s Vineyard Refuse Disposal and Resource Recovery District. The main transfer station is located off the Edgartown-West Tisbury Road near the Martha’s Vineyard Airport. The three up-Island towns operate satellite stations.
The Aquinnah landfill is open 8 am to 2 pm on Thursday and 10 am to 4 pm on Sunday; the Chilmark landfill is open from 8 am to 5 pm on Wednesday and 1 pm to 5 pm Sunday; the West Tisbury landfill is open Tuesday and Saturday, 8 am to 4 pm and Sunday 8 am to 12 noon; The Edgartown drop-off is open from 8 am to 3:30 pm Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday and from 8 am to 2 pm Sunday.