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Brentwood’s Chipper Service Makes the Switch to Paper Bags

Annual Program Cost City $500,000; More Efficient Equipment Coming in 2019

Post Date:09/12/2018

The monthly chipper service provided by the Brentwood Public Works Department will make its first major change in the coming months.   Previously the City would pick up debris and yard clippings in plastic bags.  Beginning October 1, 2018, only paper bags will be accepted.  The switch to paper is because plastic bags are not organic.   Public Works Director, Todd Hoppenstedt explains that paper bags can be fed through the chipper.  “It becomes part of the process and is bio-degradable.  Plus, it will remove the extra step of needing an employee to empty a plastic bag and in return make the process more efficient and safe,” said Hoppenstedt.

The once-a-month pickup for residents is free, but it costs the City an estimated $500,000 each year.   That includes labor, fuel, disposing of debris, and equipment.  Another costly factor of the program is employee injuries.   Over the past three years, there have been twenty-one employees injured while picking up debris.   “Injury costs are another factor into the program.   We want to make sure our crew members are safe and never lifting anything too large, which could cause injury.  This service is intended to accommodate routine trimming and pruning by homeowners not for contracted yard and tree work,” said Hoppenstedt.

Large amounts of brush and large trees removed by a commercial landscaping service or a third party must be disposed of by the company or business.   If residents hire someone to cut your brush, the cost of hauling the brush, yard waste and other debris away should be included in the price estimate received. 

Chipper Rules

  1. Brush must be behind the curb with cut ends towards the curb.
  2. Brush must be eight feet long or shorter and not stacked higher than three feet.
  3. Limbs and stumps larger than six inches in diameter will not be picked up.
  4. Debris that is the byproduct of commercial cutting/trimming will not be accepted.
  5. Leaves and grass clippings will be collected in brown paper bags only.Plastic bags will not be accepted.
  6. Do not stack brush, clippings or other leaves near stationary objects like fire hydrants, storm drains, or catch basins.

 **If a pile violates of any of the rules and is not picked up, residents will receive a door hanger on the flag of your mailbox with a box checked giving a reason why. 

New in 2019

 Currently the department uses two employees, working on each of the six chipper trucks for eight hours a day to remove all debris.   Beginning in 2019, the City of Brentwood will introduce a grapple truck which will collect brush more efficiently.   The grapple truck will require only one operator, increase speed, and reduce Injury and employee fatigue.  Grapple trucks will be used during storm clean-up, or large debris blocking a spillway, culvert, or road.

Residents can find paper bags for debris collection at most local hardware and grocery stores.  More information on the Chipper Program can be found online.

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