North Myrtle Beach introduces trash ‘roll back’ fee

Owners of properties within North Myrtle Beach’s beachfront collection zone could soon see a $9 increase in their trash service fee – and an additional service.

The City Council introduced an ordinance Monday that would increase the trash collection rates that about 1,750 homeowners are charged from $23 to $32 in order to pay for a proposed “roll-back” service. The council approved the first reading of the ordinance.

Many beachfront homes are non-owner occupied and used for vacation rentals – also known as 6 percent properties – and the city has received complaints about renters leaving trash “roll-carts” at the curb for days at a time, according to city spokesman Patrick Dowling.

Under the new law, the city would provide roll-back service and return trash receptacles to the residences.

There are about 1,950 service locations in the beachfront collection zone, according to Department of Public Works Director Kevin Blayton. About 200 of those locations are owner-occupied residences and those owners would not see an increase in their trash collection fee but would benefit from the roll-back service.

The zone includes Cherry Grove from the ocean to the marsh and the first three blocks back from the ocean for the rest of the beachfront properties, Blayton said.

If the ordinance becomes law, it would most likely go into effect when the season begins in April, Blayton said.

“Once we start (the service), it’s going to be done year-round and as needed during the off-season,” he said.

Blayton said an alternative to increasing the fee would have been to try to fine homeowners when the trash cans were left out, but said it would have been difficult to enforce.

“Plus the owner could have been fined four times in one month, every time a new renter stayed there,” Dowling said.

He said it would be hard for homeowners to inform each renter about the trash can policy if the city chose to implement fines for receptacles left at the curb.

The ordinance could be heard for a second reading as soon as Dec. 17.