Dowagiac public services to begin brush collection

Published 8:00 am Wednesday, March 23, 2016

With the snow finally melted and grasses beginning to return to their healthy green hue, many local property owners will start to resume their usual lawn care routines in the coming weeks.

The Dowagiac Department of Public Works will be once again pitching in to help local residents get rid of their brush, leaves and grass clippings, as it resumes its Brush & Compost Waste Disposal Program next week. Beginning on Monday, city homeowners will be able to schedule curbside collection of accumulated yard waste by crews with public services.

Residents can schedule pickup by calling the department at (269) 782-8200 or by emailing them at People will be required to list the type of waste they are disposing of.

Requirements for pickup are as follows:

• Limbs must be less than 8 inches in diameter and neatly stacked. Small limbs, branches and twigs must be placed in a container (bags, boxes or cans).  No stumps or root-balls will be picked up. The city reserves the right to
exclude from pick-up brush piles which are extraordinary in size or volume or brush piles from contractor removals.

• All grass clippings and leaves must be contained  (in bags, boxes or cans) and separated from limbs and twigs.  Loose piles will not be picked up.

• Containers will be emptied by the City’s crew onto the truck and left curbside to be re-used or properly disposed of by the resident.

• Materials for pick-up must be placed behind the curb — not in the street.

• No building materials, machined lumber, root-balls, stones, trash, garbage, litter or fecal material will be accepted or removed.  Violations will be cited in accordance with the City’s blight ordinance.

Residents will also have the ability to drop off waste themselves at the city’s compost site, accessible from the east end of Veterans Memorial Drive in Riverside Cemetery. The site opens next week, from 6 p.m. until dusk on Tuesdays and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturdays.

The city has been offering the brush pickup service for years as a service for residents to safely dispose of common yard waste that is not commonly picked up by garbage crews, said Sue Watson, administrative assistant with the city.

“People are already out there doing some spring cleaning,” Watson said. “This way they can rid of brush and leaves, and when they start mowing they can get rid of their grass clippings as well.”

Residents who call in are added to a list of addresses for DPS crews to visit for cleanup. When crews get the opportunity, they knock out the homes requesting, with one truck typically handling leaves while another takes care of brush, Watson said.

“We try and get out there if not weekly, then every other week,” Watson said.

The pickup service will be run through the end of October when the department starts preparing for fall leaf pickup, Watson said.

For additional information, people can call DPS at (269) 782-8200.