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franklin county times

Council: Debris problem better?

By Staff
LITTLE CHANGE Thirteen days after a photograph was published in The Meridian Star, yard debris still spills out from this area on 45th Street. Limbs have been moved away from a fire hydrant that was completely blocked. Photo by Carisa McCain/The Meridian Star
By Ben Alexander/The Meridian Star
May 17, 2001
Some Meridian City Council members say the problem of yard debris in the streets is improving, but admit there is still a long way to go.
Henson was talking about the city's contract with Waste Management, which was renegotiated in October 2000.
The amended contract called for Waste Management workers to collect garbage at the same time they pick up yard waste in order to stave off a price hike. Since the spring season began, unsightly piles of limbs and other yard waste have been steadily accumulating creating traffic congestion.
Ward 5 Councilman Bobby Smith said he has seen some familiar piles of debris disappear in recent weeks, but new ones are taking their place.
Waste Management officials maintain they are sticking by the "language of the contract," but that citizens don't return the favor when they put out debris that doesn't conform with the stipulations of the contract.
One sticking point is the so-called "limb law" clause, which states that Waste Management workers will only pick up limbs shorter than 4 feet long and 2 inches in diameter.
Mayor John Robert Smith asked Waste Management to collect limbs up to 4 inches in diameter to make it easier for citizens to comply. The company agreed, but many of the piles in question still have limbs too large to collect.
Councilmen Henson and Smith agree the limb collecting portion of the contract has created problems.
Although a renegotiation of the city's contract would likely result in higher bills, Councilman Smith said he believes most citizens would be willing to carry the extra burden in exchange for better service.
Henson doesn't share Smith's ideas about renegotiating the contract.
Ben Alexander is a staff writer for The Meridian Star. Call him at 693-1551, ext. 3226, or e-mail him at balexander@themeridianstar.com.
Here are some things residents can do to help ensure timely pick-up of yard debris.
Limbs can be no more than 4 feet long and 2 inches in diameter;
The debris must be placed no more than 5 feet beyond the curb;
Separate leaves from limbs;
Leaf piles should be no larger than two cubic yards; and
Set out debris at the right time. Leaf and limb pick-up is once a week, normally on the first day of garbage pick-up.