BAY ST. LOUIS, MS (WLOX) - The restaurant garbage controversy continues to cause a stink in Bay St. Louis. The issue is that eateries dump and store their daily trash until it's hauled off to a landfill.
Right now, trash disposal for downtown businesses is handled in a number of different ways.
The mayor of the city would like to see a centralized garbage site in Old Town for all restaurants.
Trash from The Blind Tiger Restaurant ends up in dumpsters in an enclosed area connected to the diner. Doors also conceal dumpsters at the restaurant across the street.
The owner of The Blind Tiger says it works for his facility.
"For me, there is no problem. We successfully get rid of trash seven days a week. Since day one, I've always said I wanted to get rid of my own trash and be directly responsible for that process," said Thomas Genin, owner of The Blind Tiger.
Trapani's Eatery and Buoys Bar hauls its garbage off-site to a location on Court Street behind the youth court building. That's the place Mayor Les Fillingame has proposed creating a centralized garbage collection point for all downtown restaurants.
"From day one, that's been a temporary location. Of course, the cost is being absorbed by those who are using it. It's the most convenient location for the downtown merchants, but it's not the only potential location. We can come up with some sites that would be more remote than that," explained Fillingame.
The owner of Trapani's says he doesn't mind hauling his restaurant's garbage off-site, and the two block trip is not a problem.
"There needs to be a place to put the trash. Restaurants have a lot of garbage. If the City of Bay St. Louis wants to have a centralized dumpster location, that's wonderful, and we'll do anything to help pay for it," said Tony Trapani.
Fillingame's concern is protecting the look of downtown and the noses of residents and tourists who visit the area. Genin says hauling his garbage off-site would create a big, smelly mess.
"Leaking garbage juices, food, crumbs all over the place. For me, there is no benefit," remarked Genin.
Fillingame has asked the Hancock Chamber to intervene. It will poll downtown restaurant owners to find out what they'd like to see happen, and to get their opinions on what they think the solution should be.