The Maryland Coast Dispatch reports that Ocean City, Maryland is going to purchase bags for the disposal of residents’ mattresses and furniture, and to require residents to seal the items before disposing of them.
The concerns over bedbugs arose recently when an incident erupted over whose responsibility it was to properly dispose of infested furniture.
According to [Deputy Public Works Director Dick Malone], a call was received in October from a local pest exterminator to inform the town that 20-plus mattresses had been treated for bedbugs and placed in an alley for collection by the town’s bulk collection program.
The caller also brought to Malone’s attention the concern over having town employees pick up the mattresses and have the bedbugs transferred onto themselves.
Similar concerns have arisen in other cities such as New York, where a law now requires discarded mattresses to be sealed in plastic before disposal.
In Ocean City, concerns about those 20+ discarded mattresses known to have been treated for bed bugs apparently led officials to implement a new policy in which residents discarding upholstered furniture or mattresses will be asked to bag the items first.
The article suggests this will apply to all upholstered furniture – known to be infested or not. And that makes sense, since it will be impossible for sanitation workers to quickly assess which items pose a danger, and which don’t.
The bags will cost the city $1.77 each, but residents will pay an as-yet-undetermined fee for pickup (the rate of $40 was mentioned as a possibility).
Thanks to Winston O’Buggy for alerting us to this story.