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Village to Pick Up Sandy Debris in December

All residents are urged to place Sandy-related yard waste on the curb by Dec. 3

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.

Rich November 30, 2012 at 02:50 AM
Well glad they came to the right conclusion on this topic ! They really couldn't expect people to somehow get Sandy debris to recycle center. Other towns were cleaning up, shouldn't have taken us that long to make the right decision. Hope it doesn't snow again before they complete this cleanup.
Jack November 30, 2012 at 03:06 AM
I had no idea that the plan was potentially to not pick up anything. The reason I didn't think that was an option is because it is absurd to think that they would not have.
Boyd A. Loving November 30, 2012 at 04:28 AM
Borough of Paramus employees were observed picking up storm related debris one week post Sandy. And we have not even started yet? Certainly the wheels of government in Ridgewood need a bit more oil so they turn faster.
bob ebert November 30, 2012 at 01:32 PM
good call Village Council. we appreciate it.
Mont November 30, 2012 at 01:35 PM
I live across from Glen Rock and they have picked up 3 times since power was restored, no special rules, no cutting and binding little piles with twine. They just line up a bunch of trucks and heavy equipment and get it done...very efficient. I wish Mr. Gabbert had been there when the Village employees were telling the elderly lady next to me that she had to get the giant branches from a fallen street tree to the Recycling Center herself, as it was, to quote, "not our problem." I think some of the resident frustration has come from having to deal with an us-vs-them attitude from Village employees on this matter, when it was obvious that there needed to be an interim solution before springtime. I'm glad common sense prevailed, but I'm not sure why it took a council meeting to get it done when Glen Rock, Paramus, and Midland Park have all picked up branches routinely since the storm?
Brian November 30, 2012 at 01:39 PM
Great job by the Village. Thank you to whoever made this rational decision. Count me as a very appreciative resident.
Harlan Consider November 30, 2012 at 01:48 PM
The Village made it very clear that they would not be picking up this debris. Many people, myself included, went to a lot of effort and expense to follow those earlier Village instruction by clearing the debris ourselves, either personally or paying for someone to remove it. Now I have to share in the tax expense of those who didn't do it themselves by having the Village change course and do the clear-up for them. I just wish this decision could have been made from the outset as I'm sure I'm not the only one who feels a little ripped off.
Angie S. November 30, 2012 at 03:52 PM
I agree Harlan. We paid to have our branches chopped and taken away because we were told 3 weeks ago there would be no branch pickup. Never mind the leaves we put out in time for pickup to only have them sit there for 18 days and counting. Thanks
J. Bond November 30, 2012 at 06:13 PM
I paid in advance to have my removed, in the form of a $19k property tax bill. Finally they make this announcement.
JAFO November 30, 2012 at 06:17 PM
How many of the branches/trees are from the burm and how many are from the homeowners property? I don't think the village should be expected to pick up storm damage trees that were in my back yard.
James Kleimann November 30, 2012 at 06:44 PM
The village is asking items from the back yard to remain there until yard waste collection in the spring.
Russell Clark November 30, 2012 at 06:53 PM
I would like to see the village open the re-cycling center on Sundays, at least for the next few weeks. Many of us don't use landscapers, and work during the week. This would give us more of an opportunity to bring branches and yard waste to the site.
Michael Sedon November 30, 2012 at 07:12 PM
Great lead on this one James.
Marcia Ringel November 30, 2012 at 07:51 PM
As a good neighbor and following the rules I paid a lot of money to have two large damaged trees taken down and every last twig and a big pulled-out stump removed. No way could I have carted that stuff across town. There needs to be an emergency policy in place (we will have more storms) so that people don't waste their time and money hiring contractors for this. It would have been a lot cheaper to put that stuff in the street.
Marcia Ringel November 30, 2012 at 08:05 PM
Your wish is their command, Mr. Clark! "RECYCLE CENTER located at 205 E. Glen Avenue Open to receive brush and debris (3 feet x 2 ½ inches diameter) Monday through Saturday - 8AM to 3PM. Special Sunday Hours – December 2, 9 from 8AM to 3PM" http://www.ridgewoodnj.net/main_recent.cfm?ArticleID=1108
RB December 01, 2012 at 05:50 AM
The 3 feet x 2 1/2 inches in diameter rule is not being enforced. I have seen people pull up to the yard waste truck in pick up trucks and box trucks full of branches and even trunks of trees that exceed those dimensions. To top it off, the attendants will help you unload.
Rickie10 December 01, 2012 at 05:18 PM
And not everyone can afford to hire someone to remove the debris. Nor does everyone own a truck to do it themselves. This absolutely needed to be done by the town, and I'm glad they saw the light!
Harlan Consider December 01, 2012 at 07:35 PM
Okay, so if your furnace goes, and you can't afford to replace it, is the Village on the hook for that, too?

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