Brush chipping program returns

Published 8:25 am Thursday, March 17, 2016

Starting April 26, the City of Niles will continue its yearly brush chipping program. Residents are able to leave brush at their curb to be picked up on the second and fourth Tuesday of every month through the first week of October.

The brush chipping program began after the burning ban was instituted, said Joe Ray, director of the department of public works. It and the leaf collection program allow

citizens easy means to dispose of yard refuse.

The city’s department of public works has been running this program for many years and asks residents to follow its guidelines:

• Those participating in the program should have brush placed at the curb by 7 a.m. on the Tuesday that pickup begins.

• Limbs may be up to 8 inches in diameter and no longer than what one man can lift. All piles of brush must be free of vines, grass, flower clippings, leaves, ornamental grass, wire or nails, fence posts or any other type of wood, root balls of shrubbery, thorns and trash.

• The city will pick up only what can fit into 6 cubic yards, the same size found on snowplow trucks. Anything more than this will be left and the resident must request to be placed on the next pickup list. After the brush has been picked up, residents are responsible for cleaning up the area. The street department personnel reserves the right to limit or reject the material placed at the curbside if it does not meet the City’s guidelines.

“We really have to be strict with these rules because in the past years it has really gotten out of control,” Ray said.

He said that people would have entire trees removed from their property and have their contractors leave the remains on the curb.

“[The program] is just designed for limbs and sticks that fall out of trees, or minor pruning,” he said.

After the brush is collected, it is chipped into mulch and available for free pickup to anyone who is interested.

“Anybody can come and take what they want,” Ray said.

The mulch is located at the street department garage at 1815 Eagle Street, directly behind Ring Lardner Junior High School. Pickup is available from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday.

To be placed on the pickup list, residents should call the department of public works at (269) 683-4700, extension 3062 and leave their address no later than noon on the Friday before the scheduled pickup.