Something’s afoul on Ridgefield’s historic Main Street.
Residents are misusing the green trash receptacles — purchased and installed specifically for “dog waste” in 2017 — for the disposal of personal items, including beer cans and baby diapers.
“Please, please, please do not put your trash in the dog waste stations on Main Street, along the Rail Trail, or on the Parks and Rec pathways,” said Town Treasurer Molly McGeehin, who served on the town’s dog poop committee last year.
McGeehin gave warning to residents the Sunday after Thanksgiving. She retold the story of resident Nicole Connors and her son, Logan Lachemann, who had the misfortune of emptying the green trash bins after some over-indulgent residents enjoyed the holiday weekend too much.
“Today, we had four cups and two beer cans and a baby diaper’” Connors said. “My son and I volunteer to empty these and we are having to do it more often than agreed. Plus, the liquids mix with the waste and we have to haul this in our own vehicle.”
Connors and her son aren’t the only ones experiencing problems with the cleaning of the dog waste stations. She said a trio of Girl Scouts who installed several green trash receptacles along the Rail Trail last December have also found unwanted trash in their bins.
“These are not for trash,” Connors said. “They are for dog waste only … let’s treat our volunteers with the respect they deserve!”
Lachemann, a sophomore at Ridgefield High School, installed the first dog waste station in Ridgefield located on the corner of Gilbert Street and Main Street in October 2017. Since then, he’s taken on the responsibility of emptying out the receptacles.
It’s been a largely thankless job, minus one good Samaritan who tipped him and his mom for their work over Thanksgiving weekend.
“We would like to thank the kind lady that handed us $20 for our work,” Connors said. “We went and bought Lysol wipes and rubber gloves with it.”
If the dog waste stations continue to be misused though, they could be gone by this time next year — leaving residents to hold their trash during their walks in the village or behind the rec center.
“So, please if we want to keep these stations, use them for dog waste and nothing else,” Connors said.
She welcomes anybody who would like to volunteer with the cleanup process.
“If anyone wants to empty them from time to time, since we have busy schedules, feel free to do so,” Connors said. “It only requires a black trash bag. It’s our town and we can all pitch in.”