Association Considers Continuation of Dumpster Days

Every year the River Hill Community Association coordinates with the Howard County Department of Public Works to schedule dumpsters so River Hill residents can conveniently dispose of bulk items. The dumpsters are provided free of charge and until now have been limited by the County to three dumpsters twice per year. This service was instituted when the County eliminated bulk item pick-up as a part of their regular trash disposal system. Unfortunately, the number of dumpsters provided is not adequate for the amount of refuse discarded by our residents. In addition, some residents abuse the service. Therefore, the Association is considering how to proceed.

As depicted in the photo taken on May 24 following the most recent Dumpster Days, items are routinely piled too high and left outside the dumpsters. In addition, many unacceptable items are also disposed of despite posting the requirements on site and publishing the prohibitions in our newsletter. This is not the first time that the parking lot has been a disaster following this event and it comes at a cost.

When the County’s contractor arrived to haul away the dumpsters, at first he was unable to do so. Not only were the containers overflowing, which creates a safety hazard during transport, but access to the containers was completely blocked by items placed on the ground. The Association is very appreciative of the efforts of the Columbia Association’s 5-person Open Space Crew who tackled the job. The crew used a bob cat to push items below the top of the containers. They took 4, 8-ton truckloads of junk that could not fit in the containers to the dump. They disposed of paint that should not have been left and they cleared up a lot of broken glass. All in all the crew spent 9.5 hours cleaning up. Not only did this push the mowing schedule back, but renters at the meeting room were inconvenienced and subject to an unsightly and unsafe parking area.

Therefore, the Association is evaluating the continuation of this service. We are pursuing an increase in the number and frequency of dumpsters provided by the County. We are also considering relocating the dumpsters into neighborhoods to deter non-residents from dumping. Elimination of the program is another option, particularly if residents continue to abuse the service. Let us know what you think by emailing us at