Poll: Rate R'Wood's Storm Cleanup, Leaf Pickup Effort

Do new plans need to be formulated or did a highly unusual

The village will be following the unusual .

Criticism of the storm cleanup and subsequent leaf collection has been swift – residents have not been shy with the slow pace of cleanup as the weeks went by. 

Many seemed baffled that main avenues were still full of tree trunks and leaves while small, less-traveled streets were clean.

Village Manager Ken Gabbert said at Wednesday night's council meeting that – which will cost roughly $240,000 – and simple unfortunate timing complicated efforts.

He explained that all four zones were worked on by the depleted village workforce but the first pass was done prior to the historic storm and few leaves were found; the second came just as the storm hit; the third scheduled time required that attention be paid to emergencies from the downed trees and wires; and the fourth pass is currently picking up steam.

Mayor Keith Killion said the council has many of the concerns residents have and a new plan will be worked on in the coming months.

We've got a few questions we'd like to ask residents given the responses we've heard in e-mails, phone calls and on the streets.

Doreen Delaney December 11, 2011 at 12:35 PM
Town administrators need to refrain from making excuses and begin problem solving. Do we need another terrible accident to remind them that the leaves pose a threat to the safety of our residents? Perhaps they can look to the towns who were able to complete a clean-up after the storm.
megan Smith December 11, 2011 at 01:09 PM
careful what you wish for people- you may find yourself like Allendale and they dont put to the street- homeowner pays landscaper to take the leaves away. I have seen bags also infront of houses but I am noit sure if the town will pick them up. Waldwick gives residents two choices- leaves can be put to street and picked up when they get there or you can bag your leaves and they are picked up weekly.
megan Smith December 11, 2011 at 01:14 PM
I also think that to compare the two storms is like comparing apples to oranges. The snow storm affected almost every household in town with debris- Irene did not. I own two rentals in town and and did not have damage at all from Irene but tons of brances down from the October storm.Also Lost a town tree which the town had taken care of with in 2 days! The guys are trying- eveyday must feel like groundhog day to them!
Dominick Nizza December 11, 2011 at 01:57 PM
Taking polls does not provide a solution. Perhaps this $1,845 piece of equipment video can give us some Ideas. Click Here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XIj7sg4m_f8
Nancy December 11, 2011 at 02:58 PM
Wow! That is one nice piece of equipment. Doesn't say how much though..
Dominick Nizza December 11, 2011 at 04:28 PM
@Nancy, do I have to every thing? Costs, Usage and other details should be explored by others that may have an interest beyond polls. Large home and property owners with large gardens can share helpful information. This one I believe, is about $1,845. Here is the LINK again: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XIj7sg4m_f8 Readers and Patch writers, should share helpful information don't you think?
PLAYAC December 11, 2011 at 08:00 PM
Perhaps we need some new management that can actually think outside the box. Hope they don't think they're receiving incentive bonuses this year. In terms of changes to the leaf pick-up system, offer 3 choices - bag it, put it in garbage receptacles and offer each homeowner 2-3 vouchers per year that can be used by their landscaper to dump the leaves at the area where the village brings its leaves to. For those of us utilizing landscapers. we're already paying to have them blow the pile to the street so probably not much difference in cost. By bagging or putting in garbage receptacles, at least you could then have a set schedule like recycling.
megan Smith December 11, 2011 at 09:09 PM
Would the town provide the recepticals for the leave as they do the recycling- nice sturdy barrels?
fred holden December 11, 2011 at 09:12 PM
No surprise here: The big shots at the top get huge bonuses on top of their huge salaries, while the guys at the bottom--those who actually do the physical labor--get a cut in workforce and are expected to do even more than their usual workload. Gee, could making cuts to keep taxes lower, possibly have resulted in better service? Btw, aren't landscapers supposed to cart away the debris? I thought the curbside was only for the homeowners use.
Lisa Baney December 12, 2011 at 06:08 PM
I've seen many folks keep hauling their fall prunings of branches, even whole shrubs and lots of new limbs and so forth in the past couple weeks. There was some helpful information in Patch and Ridgewood News this week on the troubles of the limbs/branches being co-mingled on many streets with the leaves, which means not eligible for the same disposal and complicating pick up greatly. I do think the municipal services have some real logistics issues that might not be as obvious to us residents as we think; I do wish people would stop putting branches and other refuse out, because folks seem to be "blowing off" the usual rules about branch, stick, and other solid yard waste, as if the storm becomes a "season-long" rationale for disposing of these things in the street... There are a variety of streets I've seen that are branch-free, and then the branches somehow are back! I also think the questions here are a bit misleading. Of course municipal services are less effective for this clean-up than Irene... Irene didn't remotely lead to as many branches down; lots of the damage was water, which recedes, and field damage, didn't involve leaf season, or a total seasonal rarity. This poll compares apples and grapefruits -- and not fair in seeking reflections on village services.
Ken F. December 12, 2011 at 08:06 PM
Lisa, This exact scenario is going on in GR too.
Oliver Train December 13, 2011 at 12:02 AM
Here is an idea...Assign a value to a cubic yard of leaves and pay that amount to a resident (or landscaper, etc) who brings it to the recycling center, or whatever the appropriate place is. just like getting $.05 back for a bottle or can. I saw a 65000 cubic yard number in a previous post...assuming that's accurate, we could pay $4 a yard and still be about even to what we've spent already. Let the market figure out how to get it done most efficiently.
Lawrence December 13, 2011 at 12:45 AM
Lisa - I am also seeing this with branches and I have not seen this is the past. I drove home today and there was clearly a house that had cut down a tree recently and it out at the curb. And I do not think the Village is prepared for this. I wish someone woul get after these residents who keep putting out branches after the initial storm clean-up occured in their neighorhood.
Ken F. December 13, 2011 at 12:23 PM
I don't know about you but It would take me all season to get my leaves to a recycling center a trunk load at a time and cost me far more than $4 a yard in gas and time not to mention cleaning up my car afterwords. Wet leaves just compounds the problem. What really has to happen is that residents and landscapers have to be made aware that no branches or limbs can be put in the leaves anymore. The storm is over even if the branches are still raining down because of it. What this problem reveals is that some residents and landscapers don't want to do the right thing and bring even a few branches to the recycling center themselves. It also reveals that some take this as an opportunity to abuse the system and compound an already costly situation.
Oliver Train December 13, 2011 at 03:09 PM
Carrot vs Stick. I'm not really taking about you or me or issuing fines or bagging leaves... I am simply pointing out the fact that many of the landscapers have good sized trucks that are in the Village anyway, and tend to leave empty at the end of the day. What I am proposing is to find a way to encourage all those trucks to fill up. If my yard produces half a truck load, my landscaper can fill the remainder of their truck on my neighbors yard or the pile down the street. True we would have to figure out a way to prevent leaves from other towns from showing up, but at least we would be moving in the right direction.
Rock December 13, 2011 at 04:52 PM
I think thats a good idea. Leverage the landscapers utility with a moderate financial incentive. Another thought regarding storm debris. Perhaps giving notice to homeowners after a storm that they have a certain amount of time (say, 10 days?) to get their debris to the street, prior to a scheduled cleanup day for their street. Once that cleanup happens, advise the homeowners that their assigned cleanup is done, and no more debris is to be put to the curb. If they put more to the street, that should result in a fine.
Steve Freides December 15, 2011 at 04:12 PM
I confess I don't understand putting leaves in the street in the first place. They narrow the passageway for everyone who uses the streets. If someone submitted a plan for a new street with that sort of clearance, it would be rejected as unsafe - so why do we allow it every Fall? I'd rather be responsible for taking my leaves and other yard waste to the recycling center myself than have them on the street.
Jane Harlin December 15, 2011 at 04:16 PM
I have a question. According to the schedule in the Village calendar, my street is done-- we have no more leaf pick-ups. And yet, several neighbors have leaf piles in front of their houses. Has another round been added because of the storm, or do my neighbors just not know that we're done?
PLAYAC December 16, 2011 at 02:40 PM
After waiting seven weeks for the road (Orchard Place) to Orchard School to be cleaned up, the village finally decides to show up with their equipment at 8:20am this morning - right when kids are walking to school and car traffic there is at its worst. Just another example of the lack of common sense used in this whole cleanup effort.
jennifer szilva December 17, 2011 at 11:06 PM
this morning at 10:20am i was driving down high street, planning to make a right onto edwards street where i live...i noticed a large dump truck blocking the street, grateful to finally have our leaves removed, i continued down high street, planning to enter edwards street from broad street. as i attempted to turn down edwards street, i was greeted by 2 backhoe's, 2 large dump trucks and another piece of leaf removing equipment...as i live close to the corner of edwards and broad, i was unable to get near my house, therefore, unable to get into my driveway. as i was turning onto edwards street, the worker in one of the backhoe's started yelling at me to back down the street..this would have me backing onto broad street with 4 children(all under the age of 3)..i than motioned to him that i live on this block and that i would like to pull into our driveway, his response was "calm the f*** down". consequently, after a few moments, he allowed me to pull into the driveway. when i arrived, all of the leaves had been picked up and the trucks were just sitting in the street. is this the type of person who is representing the village? AND, to add fuel to the fire, there is a village dump truck, parked on the opposite site of the street, with cones around it, still blocking my driveway since 10:30am!!!!!
RdgwdGRock December 18, 2011 at 02:52 AM
poor wittle you


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