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Greenport business owner agrees to donate high-tech garbage can downtown

One local businesswoman is doing her part to help alleviate Greenport’s trash problem by vowing to purchase a Big Belly container she’s agreed to donate to the village.

Sharon Sailor, owner of Front Street Station, appeared before both the Greenport Village Board and the Business Improvement District board along with local resident Mindy Ryan to discuss the proposal to purchase the high-tech, solar-powered can Thursday.

Ms. Ryan, who earlier this year launched the One Bag at a Time Project, an initiative to clean up trash throughout the village each day, said Ms. Sailor offered to pay the lease on the can and make the donation after she raised the idea on social media. The lease on the can, which would be placed on an undetermined village property downtown, would cost about $2,800 per year, they said.

“If you give us a ‘yes’ next Thursday, we’ll order it on Friday,” Ms. Ryan said of the can, which would have a built-in compacter and containers for both recyclables and standard waste.

The Village Board is expected to discuss and vote on a resolution to accept the donation at its meeting next Thursday, June 22. The four board members present Thursday expressed support for the proposal.

Ms. Ryan and Ms. Sailor said the lease for the can would be for five years. Ms. Sailor has agreed to cover the costs of year one and the insurance on the can.

If the village decided after 12 months it did not wish to pay the final four years of the lease, Ms. Sailor and Ms. Ryan said they would raise funds to cover the costs again. They said other business owners have expressed an interest in helping.


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Trustee Mary Bess Phillips, who invited the women to speak at Thursday’s work session, said the village would ultimately determine where the can would be stored. She said village workers would be responsible for emptying the cans and bringing the waste to the town facility.

A Big Belly container in Mattituck. (File photo credit: Paul Squire)

Ms. Ryan said because Big Belly cans have built-in compactors they need to be emptied less frequently than existing cans around town.

“It doesn’t have to be emptied three times a day,” she said. “It has to be emptied three times a week.”

Southold Town officials have been singing the praises of Big Belly containers since they were installed on Love Lane a year ago. In their first seven months, town officials said the two Mattituck cans retrieved more than 4,000 gallons of recyclables and significantly reduced labor costs. Southold officials said in February they had been trying to secure grant funding to cover the cost of installing more cans around town.

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Top file photo: Sharon Sailor of Front Street Station in Greenport.