Santino Institutes Credit Card Use at Town Waste Facility for Commercial Waste Haulers; ‘No Cash’ Policy Protects Against Fraud, Theft, Abuse

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Hempstead Town officials accept a credit card payment from a waste hauler at the town's waste management facility in Merrick.

Supervisor Anthony J. Santino is streamlining government and protecting Hempstead Town taxpayers against theft, fraud and abuse by implementing credit card technology for commercial waste haulers and landscapers who use the “scale house” at the township’s sanitation facility in Merrick. Under the new initiative, the scale house, which weighs garbage, construction and demolition debris, as well as landscaper waste, will soon go “cashless,” only accepting checks and credit cards for sanitation fee payments which are based on the weight of material brought through the sanitation yard. Joining Santino at the press conference at the Merrick facility were Senior Councilwoman Dorothy Goosby, Councilman Anthony D’Esposito, Councilman Dennis Dunne, Sr. and Town Clerk Nasrin Ahmad.

“The Town of Hempstead is committed to ensuring that all revenue generated at the Merrick Sanitation Scale House is put toward the daily operating costs of town government,” stated Supervisor Santino. “By eliminating cash payments and instituting a credit card system, our municipality is taking new and progressive steps to streamline the payment process and prevent waste, fraud and theft at this facility.”

The town scale house, located at 1600 Merrick Road in Merrick, handled roughly 102,545 tons of bulk material, construction and demolition debris, metals and municipal waste in 2016. In addition to processing daily waste, the facility is also utilized by local landscapers, construction companies and other local businesses. The town received an estimated $4.6 million in revenue from the scale house in 2016. Cash will be accepted at the scale house until October 1, 2017.

The Town of Hempstead already takes several precautions to guard against theft and fraud at the sanitation scale house, including video surveillance of the scale house and daily supervised reconciliation of cash receipts. However, given the recent arrest of a Long Island municipal employee for allegedly embezzling nearly $100,000 in cash from a nearby township’s Solid Waste Management Authority, Hempstead Town officials are seeking to strengthen safeguards against potential fraud. 

“Town residents work hard to provide for their families and pay local taxes, and the Town of Hempstead wants to do everything in its power to avoid financial mistakes, waste, theft and the potential for fraudulent transactions,” added Senior Councilwoman Goosby. “I am proud to partner with Supervisor Santino on this new initiative.”

“The addition of a credit card machine at the Merrick Scale House will provide a quick and easy way of collecting payments,” said Councilman D’Esposito. Added Councilman Dunne, “Supervisor Santino certainly deserves ‘all the credit’ for unveiling this great new service that will serve area business and protect local taxpayers.”

Beyond the town’s use of credit card machines at the sanitation department’s scale house, town officials also announced that they are installing credit card machines at other town locations to increase payment options and enhance convenience for local residents. The popular beach at Town Park Point Lookout and the newly upgraded Lido Golf Course are among the first facilities to receive the upgrades. The Supervisor mentioned that many other town facilities are soon to follow suit.

The credit card payment machines are part of Supervisor Santino’s commitment to protect against fraud, cutting costs and saving taxpayers money. Other recent programs unveiled by the Supervisor include the online auctioning of obsolete and surplus town equipment, consolidation of vehicle maintenance garages and the adoption of a lean labor agreement with the town workforce.

“The only ‘waste’ that my administration will tolerate at the Merrick Scale House is actual garbage being disposed of by contractors, landscapers and other local businesses,” concluded Supervisor Santino. “The addition of credit card payments at this facility will go a long way toward keeping a close eye on our ‘bottom dollar’ in America’s largest township.”