Ridgewood's streets are currently tree-lined, though not in the traditional sense. A month into the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, most village curbs and roadways continue to feature piles of branches, massive tree limbs and other assorted debris.
Frustrated residents have been offered few options to dispose the heaps of debris – either head to the Recycling Center or leave it laying around the grass until yard waste collection returns in April.
Citing an “extraordinary need,” the Ridgewood Village Council on Wednesday night decided to change all that. Normally ending just before leaf collection begins in October, yard waste collection will be resuming in December, starting on Dec. 3.
Per the "final pass" policy, pickups will occur in Area B (the hard-hit northwest section of town) between Dec. 3-6; in Area D Dec. 10 -13; Area C on Dec. 17, 18; and Area A on Dec. 19. All residents are expected to have the piles out by Dec. 3. Leaf collection will continue to run unabated, officials said.
“This was an extraordinary event, so we’re going above and beyond,” Mayor Paul Aronsohn said. “This is a one-time shot. We want to clean the streets and make them safe.”
Not all agreed the village was going above and beyond. Resident Boyd Loving said many surrounding towns had taken steps to remove yard waste well before the village decided to take action.
Residents are instructed to place brush and debris between the curb and sidewalk, explicitly not in the street or jumbled in with the leaves leaves. Brush and debris do not have to be bundled, tied or put in a container as they normally would, though Village Manager Ken Gabbert stressed they should be cut in lengths as close to 3 feet x 2 ½ inches diameter.
Asked if large logs will be hauled off by workers, Gabbert said items will have to be determined on a case-by-case basis.
No specific resolution was passed, as the cleanup costs will be apportioned through various other Sandy cleanup contracts, Gabbert said when questioned by Loving. After the meeting, Gabbert told Patch he believed the total cost of the debris removal to be around $60,000.