Massena cuts brush pickup to 4 months

Village of Massena Department of Public Works employees will be downsizing the amount of time they spend picking up brush and yard waste curbside because of manpower issues. Watertown Daily Times

MASSENA — Village Department of Public Works employees will be downsizing the amount of time they spend picking up brush and yard waste curbside because of manpower issues.

“We’re not operating with the same level of staff that we were 10, 15, 20 years ago. So (DPW Superintendent Hassan Fayad) is looking to offer the service as it was intended,” Deputy Mayor Matthew J. LeBire told village trustees.

Under the code, Public Works crews will do curbside pickup of branches, tree trimming and hedge clippings in April, May, September and October.

“All branches, tree trimmings and hedge clippings shall be cut into lengths no greater than 10 feet with the butt end placed towards the road. The largest diameter of limb allowed shall be no larger than eight inches. The amount of brush to be placed at curbside for DPW collection shall not exceed eight cubic yards, loose.

No branches, tree limbs and hedges removed by a commercial business shall be placed at curbside for collection by DPW. Root balls shall be removed from all brush and hedges and disposed of by owner,” the code reads.

Individuals will still be able to dispose of their branches, tree trimmings and hedge clippings during other months.

“The months in between, we still accept those at no charge at our old DPW location (on South Main Street). We just won’t be doing the streetside pickup.

The months in between, we need our crew rebuilding our roads, we need them doing the infrastructure work that summer that’s so valuable for them to do. We need to provide the service, but it needs to be April, May, September and October,” Mr. LeBire said.

Leaves are handled separately. All grass cutting and leaves must be placed in closed, clear bags, paper bags or in other DPW-approved containers, according to the code.

He said there may be instances when crews will be able to pick up in November after residents have raked up their weeds in preparation for the winter.

“Much like we have in the past years, if we have the flexibility to do it, we will do it. It’s just being realistic with the staff levels we have. I’m more concerned about the summer months of June, July and August. We want to make sure the word gets out on the street so people don’t put something out in July thinking that we’re going to do streetside service, but rather have it arranged to be dropped off free of charge at the old DPW,” Mr. LeBire said.

He said that, although they’re cutting back on streetside pickup, the village of Massena does more than most other municipalities.

“We definitely offer much more streetside service,” he said.

Mr. LeBire said they plan to do an “information blitz” to make people aware of the change.

“I’ll speak with Administrator (Monique) Chatland and our clerks about the possibility of putting something in our water bills,” he said.

They also plan to use social media, as well as local news media to spread the word.

“I wanted to approach the board with that and make sure everyone was comfortable with that and why we’re doing it,” he said.

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Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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