The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

November 2, 2012

Residents work to clean up fall foliage under new burn rules

By Katie Dahlstrom
Herald Staff Writer

CLINTON — After Steve Haufe, of Clinton, raked the leaves from his yard last weekend he was left with 28 bags full of fallen foliage and one yard waste container to dispose of them.

“The fact that I had 28 bags wasn’t anybody’s fault but my own,” Haufe said. “I think the more difficult issue is the green container is not adequate.”

Under the old system, Haufe said, he would have been able to purchase a $1 sticker to place on each bag to be disposed by the city. Now, however, residents either need to be patient as they dispose of leaves with the automated pickup system or seek disposal somewhere other than the curb.  

Haufe estimates he could fit six bags full of leaves into his 95-gallon yard waste container, leaving 22 bags out of the equation and unable to be picked up by the city until the next week.  

“This time of year there will be more, but if they put it in the can every week we’ll get rid of it,” Grounds and Facilities Superintendent Tom Krogman said. “It’s a trial year.”

Krogman said he hasn’t seen any notable problems with the new system handling the influx in leaves.  

The city has also allowed burning of yard waste for those with one acre or more since Oct. 1 so long as the burning takes place between the hours of 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. Tuesday, Thursday or Saturday and the pile is no larger than 3 feet in diameter and 2 feet high. This will be in effect until Nov. 15.

Residents with an abundance also can dispose of yard waste and brush at the Clinton County Area Solid Waste Agency for $8 for 360 pounds of waste. Judging by the amount that has been disposed, many have. 

CCASWA Director Brad Seward said from Jan. 1 to Dec. 31 of last year his organization took in 1,173.5 tons of yard waste and brush.  This year, he said, the landfill has taken in 1,579 tons of yard waste and brush and is on track to see 1,895 tons by the end of the year.

“We are on track to take in 150 percent of what we did last year,” Seward said. “But there’s a lot of things that go into that program.”

Public works officials with the city say they have received a number of inquiries about leaf disposal and additional containers, which can be purchased through public works.