We have a garbage problem

Published on: February 21, 2019

Chamber News & Views

I must admit I need help. Now wait, I need to rephrase that or the men in little white coats will be dispatched to the chamber. What I mean is, I need your help.
Here’s the issue. The chamber pays for a large dumpster, which is stored at the end of our parking lot. And we also pay for that dumpster to be emptied weekly by Waste Connections of Florida. And it’s not a small amount. But what are you gonna do? I cannot take the trash home every night, although I certainly have when the dumpster’s gotten too full.
We rent out our events room at the back of the chamber for events big and small. And with those events, usually comes trash — food, drinks, decorations, boxes — all the trappings of a party. And we plan for that.
What we don’t plan for is that some people from somewhere have decided we are a community dump. They forget we are a chamber — a small business — with bills to pay — including to Waste Connections of Florida.
Here’s what happens: People bring their garbage over to the chamber. And leave garbage big and small on top of or around our dumpster. They cannot put it inside since we’ve wised up and it now has a lock. But we still get the junk scattered around the dumpster. And guess who gets to pick it up? Well, that would be Kristy or me since we are the two employees. So we’ve both added “garbage detail” to our resumes.
To further complicate matters, we have bins for Salvation Army and Goodwill just a few feet away from our overflowing dumpster. People bring over items to donate, which is great. Except that when the bins are full, we get the leftovers piled around our dumpster. And Kristy and I go back on garbage patrol.
We’ve tried a few things. There is a huge sign at the front of our parking lot that says in enormous red letters “No Dumping” in all caps. Not working so well. Thought the lock would help. Not so much. We used to have a camera trained on that dumpster to catch the perps. The camera was stolen.
So here’s where you come in. If you’re out and about around the chamber building and you see those sneaky garbage droppers, please get their license plate numbers or even the make of their car. We don’t want you to approach — they may be armed with more garbage. Maybe if they know we’re all watching, they’ll take their trash someone else — like home or to a real dump.
The garbage truck came while I was writing this. After they left, I went out to put the lock back on the dumpster. In those few minutes, we had been bequeathed with a large blue area rug and some car parts. Seriously people?
Lynne Conlan is Executive Director of the Sun City Center Area Chamber of Commerce. Call her at 813-634-5111, or email