Leaving household trash in base dumpsters is illegal, costly

Dumping of any personal or household trash, furniture or bulk items in or near NAS Patuxent River dumpsters is illegal and perpetrators could face a fine up to $500. Pax River dumpsters are for office trash only.

Base officials are reminding personnel residing or working on NAS Patuxent River that the dumpsters located across the installation are not for household waste, unwanted furniture, or bulk items.

“Dumpsters on base are for NAS Pax office solid waste only; no personal waste at all,” clarified Lance McDaniel, installation environmental director. “They are not to be used for dumping household goods or unwanted furniture. Those items need to be taken off base to the landfill off St. Andrews Road. No exceptions.”

Dumpster trash removal is a contracted service with a fixed price based on the amount of tonnage collected each year, and if more tonnage is produced than expected, that skews the numbers and can potentially cost the Navy more money in increased pricing when the next contract is awarded. In addition, drivers do not exit their truck when emptying the dumpsters and anything left outside the containers is not their responsibility. Therefore, items left behind require a service ticket to be issued for a different contractor to remove them, resulting in an inefficient use of taxpayer dollars.

“Mattresses and furniture are items that are often left next to dumpsters,” McDaniel said. “Sometimes people will take them down to the dumpster near the recycling yard, but that’s not even what the recycling yard does; they only handle federally-owned waste, such as scrap metal. And if anyone has unwanted office furniture, it needs to have a form with it and be turned in from your command [to Defense Logistics Agency Disposition Services, formerly the Defense Reutilization and Marketing Office (DRMO).] ”

It is suspected that most illegal dumping occurs when families move out of on-base housing, but there are methods available to properly dispose of all household waste.

“Lincoln Military Housing (LMH) provides trash service to all residents residing within Pax River through Evergreen; and for all communities, Evergreen picks up regular trash on Tuesdays and recycling on Wednesdays,” explained Ross Keene, Pax River housing director. “For those transferring and moving out of LMH, a roll-away dumpster next to the Maintenance Shop in the Housing Office parking lot can be utilized to dump trash and bulk items to ensure trash is removed from their quarters prior to leaving. For any questions regarding trash and recycling pickup, residents can call Lincoln Military Housing at 240-895-0380.”

Any person found dumping trash illegally shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and could be fined an amount up to $500.

Anyone observing unauthorized dumping is asked to contact police dispatch at 202-433-7625.