In an attempt to keep the streets and gutters clean, and the storm sewer system operating properly, city of Urbana officials are urging residents to adhere to city ordinances when it comes to disposing of yard waste.
During a City Council work session April 26, Director of Administration Kerry Brugger addressed a question that has been raised during previous council meetings: Who is responsible for the proper disposal of yard waste?
The answer, in the majority of the cases, is city residents.
Until July 1, 2010, the Street Department was in charge of picking up yard debris left at the curb by residents, but following the opening of the city of Urbana Compost Facility at 1261 Muzzy Road, the responsibility of disposing of tree limbs, leaves and grass clippings shifted to residents.
“Since the opening of the compost facility, the city has continuously championed having residents take their various yard debris to the compost facility,” Brugger said.
There are, however, some exceptions. The Street Department does pick up leaves during a designated period each year (Oct. 31 through Dec. 5, 2016), and yard debris is collected by the city following a major weather event.
Brugger reminded residents unless the city provides public notification of a scheduled “major storm pickup” as outlined on its website at www.urbanaohio.com/city-offices/streets.html, the removal of all yard debris, including sticks, leaves and lawn clippings, is the responsibility of the homeowner.
He added that residents who place yard debris at the curb or in the gutter are in violation of chapter 901.01 of the city’s codified ordinances, which in part reads: “The owner of each lot, part of lot or parcel of land abutting on any gutter shall clean and remove from any gutter abutting upon the lot so owned, all material or rubbish not composing a part of the gutter and shall maintain and keep the gutter free from foreign material and rubbish.”
As of April 26, Brugger said, the curbs and gutters were cleared of yard debris by Street Department employees.
From now until leaf collection begins Oct. 31, unless a “major storm pickup” is deemed necessary to help with storm cleanup, residents are responsible for keeping the streets and gutters clear of yard waste, per city ordinance.
“We look forward to a safe and productive spring and summer,” Brugger said.
Located on the same property as the Urbana Water Reclamation Facility, the Urbana Compost Facility on Muzzy Road provides the public a place to dispose of yard waste and purchase mulch.
Open April through November, the facility only accepts yard waste during operation hours, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday.
Types of yard waste accepted include leaves, grass clippings, brush, garden waste, tree trunks, holiday trees, prunings from trees or shrubs, recycled tree mulch and chipped tree material.
When using the facility, all residents are required to pay any applicable fees and obtain a receipt from an attendant before disposing of yard waste or picking up mulch, and all yard waste must be separated (grass only, leaves only and brush only).
While there are no fees to drop off grass, leaves or a “nominal” car load of brush, the city does charge the following fees for larger loads: $8 per pickup truck, $10 per trailer up to 12 feet in length, $15 per combination of pickup truck/trailer, and $20 per single axle stakebed truck/dump truck.
A web page dedicated to the city’s compost facility at www.urbanaohio.com states the city reserves the right to deny the acceptance of yard waste based upon large quantities, size, condition of material, etc. Also, the depositing of yard waste during nonoperational hours without the express written consent of the city is considered littering and liable to prosecution.
For more information, Compost Coordinator David Moody III can be reached at 937-508-6405.
Joshua Keeran may be reached at 937-652-1331 (ext. 1774) or on Twitter @UDCKeeran.