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Lavallette Tackling Litter, Benches As Summer Season Draws Closer

Seagulls targeting a trash can on a New Jersey beach. (Photo: Jackie/Flickr)

Seagulls targeting a trash can on a New Jersey beach. (Photo: Jackie/Flickr)

Spring is here, and summer is fast approaching despite this week’s chilly temperatures. In Lavallette, officials are readying the town for the upcoming summer season, having passed an ordinance regulating litter emanating from dumpsters, and organizing an effort to replace benches that have fallen into disrepair.

Litterbugs Beware

While it is common knowledge that residential trash cannot be placed out at the curb in kitchen bags, lest it be strewn about by gulls, enforcing similar rules to prevent the overflow of dumpsters will become part of Lavallette’s code by summer.

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The ordinance adopted by the council last week requires all dumpsters in town to be closed when not in use. This includes not only periods such as an “off-season,” but any time the business is not using the dumpster.

“There were some concerns brought by residents that dumpsters were not being actively used,” said Borough Attorney William Burns. “All dumpsters, when not being actively used, have to be covered with a dumpster cover.”

Residents have reported gulls picking at garbage and from uncovered dumpsters and spreading trash on streets, as well as items either blowing out from the top or emitting a foul odor.

“Especially at the end of the day,” said Mayor Walter LaCicero.

The borough plans on having extra code enforcement officers on duty this summer who will be assigned to enforce the regulations.

High-End Benches?

Concerts by the Bay, Lavallette, June 26, 2022. (Photo: Anita Zalom)

Concerts by the Bay, Lavallette, June 26, 2022. (Photo: Anita Zalom)

Inflation has been a concern nationwide for several years, and in Lavallette, it has even affected the borough’s program to replace benches.

“The bids have come in substantially above the engineer’s estimate,” said Councilwoman Joanne Filippone, who has been spearheading the town’s initiative to replace aging benches – some of which are in disrepair.

While not usually a profoundly expensive item for municipal governments, Shore communities are often forced to purchase the most expensive benches available – usually anchored by concrete – since they must stand up to flooding, wind and regular coastal storms.

Lavallette officials have long been organizing a project to replace many of the wooden benches that have deteriorated across town in recent years. The governing body in February authorized Van Cleef Engineering to design a bid specification for new benches that would suit the borough.

The borough plans on selling memorials to defray the cost of the benches, which will replace those at the bayfront. As it currently stands, officials have worried that the deteriorating benches near the borough gazebo and some other locations along the bayfront represent a safety hazard, as the wood can be seen rotting or cracking in some locations. Though no policy has been formally passed, officials have discussed guaranteeing those who purchase a memorial on a bench that the plaque would remain for ten years, after which it could be subject to replacement.

Filippone said the bid specifications would be tweaked in order to receive more competitive pricing in the next round of bidding.

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