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Public Works Considers Yard Waste Collection Changes

The West Chester Borough's Public Works Committee listens to proposed changes to the borough's yard waste collection services.

Bob Wilpizeski, the Director, asked the borough’s Public Works Committee Monday if something could be done to change the current limb and yard waste collection services.

“This one aspect of public works is taking away from our other functions,” Wilpizeski said.  “What was originally meant to serve a small area has turned into a regional dumpsite.”

Currently, borough residents can take their yard waste and limbs to the borough’s public works building where the department will dispose of that waste.  However, Wilpizeski says that the program has grown out of hand.

“We can’t even park our cars in the parking lot on Mondays,” Wilpizeski said.  “The lot is too full with yard waste.  Workers have to spend time picking that stuff up just so we can park our cars.”

Wilpizeski estimates that his crews spend about 1700 man-hours per year on the borough’s yard waste collection services, and he would like to see those numbers reduced.  He even suggested eliminating the drop-off point completely.

“I don’t see any other way to do it,” borough council member Chuck Christy said.  “What are we going to do with that waste if we have nowhere to put it.”

“We created the program for the average West Chester home owner with average problems,” Wilpizeski said.  “Now, we have all sort of people dumping at our site.  Some people aren’t residents of the borough.  Some are contractors who get paid a hauling fee, and then they just drop it off with us for free.”

“I would like to make it the objective that an effective change is made by January.  We need to determine what’s a reasonable amount of service,” Wilpizeski added.

 

Nathaniel Smith August 07, 2012 at 01:01 PM
If people are breaking regulations, they need to be stopped so the service can continue. If yard waste stops being composted and goes into trash, that will cost the Borough more in landfill fees and slow down trash collection, besides being anti-environmental. Closing the facility would be counterproductive. Or, the Borough could pick up residents' yard waste at curbside, as in some other municipalities, but that has a cost too.
Tom Chambers August 07, 2012 at 01:49 PM
As a taxpaying WC Boro homeowner for over 45 years who has benefitted by the service provided us by permitting the dropping off of reasonable yard debris at the "Borough Garage," I agree with Mr. Smith's comment above that "closing the facility would be counterproductive." My observation over recent years when dropping off yard debris has been that this benefit is being taken advantage of by contractors and others who are abusing this privilege. Closing the facility would be at the expense of our WC homeowners who are paying to manage it. Unless the Borough is willing to carry the cost of picking up yard debris at curbside, a way must be found to control (monitor) the current dropping off activity to prevent abuse of this privilege. Unless the Borough can rely on TV surveillance cameras (it would be easy to detect license plate numbers since most people back in to unload), one suggestion may be to hire someone to be on site during weekend posted hours to monitor and control dumping. For example, if the site was open over the weekend from 9 to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday covering the 8 month period during the year when most yard debris is generated with someone on site to manage the activity, it might be much more cost effective than what is required currently (Eg., 16 hours a weekend over 8 months @, say. $12.00 per hours would only cost approximately $6,000. Just a thought. Thanks.
nona August 08, 2012 at 02:13 PM
There is already a sign there with a presumably working camera that warns of trespassers and inappropriate waste. Doesn't that work? You're asking citizens to go backwards in terms of green recycling.
nona August 08, 2012 at 02:14 PM
...You're asking citizens to go backwards in terms of green recycling...if that waste yard is removed....thanks.
Tom Chambers August 08, 2012 at 02:36 PM
As a followup to the recent news regarding the Borough's problems associated with its yard debris drop off site behind the Borough Garage, I would think that the Borough could find a solution that would allow Borough residents to continue using this site for dropping off debris, enhancing green recycling. Obviously, or apparently, there are no working surveillance cameras and, if there were, they are not being monitored to catch "abusers" with follow up action taken. This site needs to remain open for use by all Borough residents who follow the dumping rules and contractors and other "out-of-towners" who are taking undue advantage should be stopped. That's not being done currently. Taking away this particular benefit of a yard debris drop off site because of users abusing its use reminds me somewhat of the School Board's decision a few years ago to restrict use of the Henderson H.S. track by residents because a few idiots engaged in grafitti at the stadium site. When law-abiding taxpaying residents are "punished" because a small contingent of law-breakers and others abusing the rules are allowed to prevail is a cop out. Officials have to come up with reasonable solutions to these kinds of scenarios, rather than closing down these uses by the rest of us. Thanks.

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