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STONE HARBOR - Bulk pickup day in Stone Harbor can mean items are put out at the curb that have use and value.

In a community where a large number of property owners are not permanent residents, bulk pickup schedules offer a chance to rid the owner of items no longer wanted.

The fact that the property owners may be in town for a short period often constrains the likelihood that they have the time to use alternative ways of designating useful items for repurposing. Too often, the need to get home to a permanent residence makes putting that useful item at the curb, leading to the county landfill.

Municipal ordinances state that once the items are at the curb they belong to the municipality and those who drive by seeking curbside treasures do so illegally.

At its work session May 7, Stone Harbor Borough Council discussed changes to the ordinances that would allow individuals to retrieve items curbside within 72 hours of a scheduled bulk pickup date.

Arguing that the borough should act to prevent useable items from piling up at the landfill, Council President Joselyn Rich said, “This is going on now illegally.” She added, “We all know people who have taken a desirable item from the curbside.”

Rich argued against suggestions that individuals should be made to register with the borough before rummaging at the curbs. Her plea for a simple change to the municipal code led Mayor Judith Davies-Dunhour to suggest the method that gained general support.

For 72 hours prior to a scheduled pick-up, daytime retrievals from curbside bulk refuse would be allowed. Council must formally act to change the ordinances, but agreement appeared unanimous.

“One person’s castoffs can be another person’s treasure,” was a phrase used more than once in the discussion.

To contact Vince Conti, email

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