In an effort to gain control of skyrocketing trash disposal costs by the Association, the Board of Directors has passed a new set of rules regarding disposal of trash and dumpster use around the lake. The new rule was adopted at the board meeting on Aug. 12 and becomes effective Aug. 22, 2018.
Key points in the new rule are the designation of the Maintenance Yard dumpsters as “approved” dumpsters for members to utilize, the enforcement of improper dumpster use and the cooperation of members in reducing costs thus saving the membership money. Directing trash to the Maintenance Yard dumpsters automatically enhances enforcement efforts of improper use at other dumpster sites (beaches, clubhouse, office and campground) as dumpsters at those locations are provided for trash originating from those locations only. The purpose of this article is to answer as many questions as possible.
Q. Why is the Maintenance Yard being designated as the only location for trash disposal?
A. Currently the Association has several locations where dumpsters are located and enforcement of those locations is problematic. While signs have been posted at each of these locations identifying what can be placed in the dumpsters, they have largely been ignored. These signs and conflicting rules in the handbook have made enforcement difficult. Suggestions have been made to station people at those locations to monitor incoming trash, however the costs for such would be expensive and volunteers for such an undertaking are not a reliable source. Those dumpsters are only for the use of members/guests utilizing that area, such as a picnic at Beach 2, etc. By mandating the dumpsters in the maintenance yard for other trash, two things are achieved. First, anyone dumping trash not originating at the dumpster site (Beaches, Community Areas etc.) are automatically in violation of the trash rule. Therefore those captured on camera, spotted by Safety or reported by other members can be held accountable. Second, the Association will be able to better monitor use of dumpsters and by whom. Part of the issue has been the “from time to time” allowance for members with contracted trash service in the previous rule. Often, this has led to weekly dumping of household trash resulting in weight overages and additional fees to the association.
Q. I have contracted trash service, how does this new rule effect me?
A. For members with contracted trash service (half year or full year) there is no change to your home pickup and only a slight change in the manner you put out your trash. Members with contracted service may still put trash out the day prior to pickup; however, it must be in a closed – sealable container and the lid must be closed completely. Members with trash service may still put trash out in plastic bags the day of pick-up.
Q. Can I use the dumpsters if I have an undeveloped lot?
A. Yes, if you have purchased a trash stamp. Nothing has changed other than the mandate that the Maintenance Yard dumpsters are approved for use. If you own an undeveloped lot and wish to use Association dumpsters to dispose of your trash, you must respond to the Office and obtain a “trash” stamp on your membership card. The cost is $25 for the Association year (May through April). If you have an undeveloped lot and choose to take your trash with you out of the lake when you leave, you are still free to do so. There is no requirement for undeveloped lot owners to obtain the trash stamp, unless they plan on using Association dumpsters.
Q. I have an undeveloped lot and a camper in the Campground. Do I have to get the trash stamp?
A. No. If you have an undeveloped lot and a camp space, you already have the availability of campground dumpsters. Campers, however, are reminded that bulky items such as grills and brush must be taken to the appropriate area of the maintenance yard. Only campground members may use the campground dumpsters.
Q. What must I have with me to use the dumpsters?
A. To use the association dumpsters in the maintenance yard, you must have in your possession at the time of use either a current Membership card with the stamp or documentation of current contracted trash service. Any employee of the Association can request such proof at any time and failure to provide it can result in an infraction violation.
Q. Why do I have to call the on-duty Safety Officer to tell them that I am going to use the dumpsters in the maintenance yard? Do I have to wait for them to meet me?
A. The purpose in notifying the on-duty Safety Officer that you are heading to the maintenance yard to use the dumpsters is for accountability and to assist in enforcement purposes. The Safety Officer will ask your lot number and what you intend to dump (household trash, lumber, brush, etc.) and will record it. Use of the maintenance yard dumpsters will be monitored and should an excessive amount of use by a particular member be identified then the board itself can address the use with the member or direct the Lake Manager to do so. The Safety Officer may or may not be present when you use the dumpster. Safety Officers will conduct periodic unannounced checks on dumpster use and content. The bottom line is a quick phone call is an alternative to stationing an officer at each dumpster.
Q. Why do I have to drive all the way to the Maintenance Yard to use the dumpsters when there is a dumpster closer to me?
A. By designating only those dumpsters as approved for trash it enhances the ability of the Safety Office to enforce the trash rules at problem areas while helping keep costs of enforcement down. While it may be an inconvenience to go to the maintenance yard, you are helping the Association in the enforcement of dumpster abuse and reducing the costs associated with them. The association has allowed members with contracted service to “occasionally” use association dumpsters, however in some cases the “time to time” use has become used as a standard weekly trash service. This type of use combined with undeveloped lot use where no trash stamp has been obtained results in more frequent changing of full dumpsters as well as overweight dumpsters, both of which are costly to the membership as a whole.
One extra bag of trash may not seem like a lot, however if you multiply that by 30 or more different members those dumpsters fill up quickly. If we as an association cannot gain control of trash removal expenses, we may end up moving to where no use of dumpsters is allowed by members with contracted service and bulky item removal will return to one or two Lake clean-up days per year or simply become the sole responsibility of the member.
Q. I am a contractor who does small jobs and I am performing a job at the lake. Can I use the dumpsters for job waste?
A. No. Any job waste created during a project where a contractor/person is paid to complete the project is not allowed in the dumpsters. It is the responsibility of the contractor/person to remove the waste from Lake Viking properties. In addition contractors or handyman members who perform jobs off of lake properties are prohibited from bringing job site waste into the lake and using association dumpsters.
Q. I am a member who does not have contracted trash service and I don’t have a trash stamp but I want to clean up brush from my lot. Can I use the maintenance area?
A. Yes. Any lot owner who has a need to haul brush to the burn area of the maintenance yard may do so provided they have their current membership card or proof of current membership with them at the time of disposal. Remember to notify the on-duty Safety Officer.
Q. What can I put in the burn area?
A. Only brush or untreated lumber is allowed in the burn pile. Members abusing the burn pile area by placing other items in the pile may receive an infraction violation and lose their privilege to the area. If the burn pile is closed, please hold your brush until it is re-opened. Brush should never be placed in dumpsters as it contributes to weight and space overloads and results in additional charges.
Q. I have paid trash service but I leave on Sundays and don’t want to put trash cans out by the road since they will be there all week. Why can’t I just use the dumpsters? I am paying for trash service.
A. While it is appreciated that you have trash service and don’t want to leave containers by the road all week by using dumpsters on a weekly basis you are actually paying for trash service up to three times as well as having your fellow members pay for your trash removal. First, you pay for service and don’t use it since Monday is the pickup day. Second, the Association dumpsters are paid for out of dues and assessments that each member pays, so you are paying a small fraction of the costs of dumpsters along with your fellow lake members. Finally, each change out of dumpsters along with weight overage results in additional fees. So using dumpsters on a weekly basis can actually cost you and your fellow members quite a bit. Consider a receptacle/box type container that looks nice and won’t blow around.
Q. What about loose trash cans if I am not going to be here?
A. Sealable containers are the best method to keep critters out of the trash while it is awaiting pickup. Some members prefer individual containers while others have trash receptacle/box containers near the road. Either are acceptable ways to contain trash. If you choose to use individual cans there is always the possibility of winds blowing them around. The Association will not walk individual containers up to the member’s house after pickup just because they are empty, however if the containers are found moved by wind the Safety Office or maintenance (or a nice neighbor) will recover them and return them next to the house as long as the member lot number is clearly marked on the container. Consider the use of bungee type cords on individual containers if necessary to keep lids on and together with the can. Trash bins or box type containers generally provide more of a challenge for critters to get into and provide the added benefit of being able to put trash out several days prior to pickup in bags. Made from wood or plastic/poly type boxes they can be attractive to the property and more convenient than individual cans. It is always suggested that receptacles be weighted down if necessary to prevent blowing.
Q. What will be considered excessive use of the dumpsters?
A. There is no absolute number that has been identified to be considered as excessive since there may be circumstances where a member has a temporary need for more use than normal. Generally speaking however use of dumpsters four times or less per year by a member with contracted service is not likely going to stand out as excessive, while five or six times may cause a conversation to begin with the member. The board will make the determination as to what is excessive. A phone call to the office if you have an unusual need can often save a lot of time for everyone involved.
It is hoped that this article has answered some of the most common questions. Should additional questions exist please direct those questions to the Office or Safety Office for clarification. Your cooperation in reducing trash and the costs involved will be appreciated.