Dexter Council Approaches Finalization of New Wood Chipping and Leaf Collection Policy


In the Dexter City Council meeting on October 23, City Manager Justin Breyer presented a detailed discussion on the new wood chipping and leaf collection policy aimed at clarifying and enhancing the existing services.

“There have recently been some questions from residents regarding what types of properties are eligible for these services, and the quantity of materials that the DPW can be expected to chip, which have been raised that have fallen outside of the scope of the administrative policy,” Breyer stated in his report. “In response, City staff have drafted a formalized chipping and leaf collection policy.”

The Department of Public Works (DPW) of Dexter City has long been providing services to residents, including limb and brush chipping year-round, complemented by fall leaf collection. These services, alongside trash, recycling, and yard waste management by Waste Management, are billed to residents bi-monthly. An existing administrative policy, detailed in the City’s Resident Handbook, was primarily focused on the appropriateness of materials for the wood chipper.

The newly proposed policy particularly addresses the eligibility criteria, ensuring clarity for properties maintained by homeowner associations and distinguishing between residential and commercial entities, the latter currently not being charged for these services.

Commenting on the draft, Councilmember Michels said, “I think it’s heading in the right direction. It recognizes that people are paying more consistently for the services they are receiving which is generally a good thing.”

The proposed policy outlines specific guidelines, including the setting out of chipping materials, prohibited items, eligible recipients, and special provisions for chipping holiday trees. It also defines the collection timeframe and penalties for service violations. The policy aims to formalize procedures and resolve conflicts regarding residential wood chipping and leaf collection efficiently.

Significantly, the policy delineates which properties are exempt from the chipping service, such as those on private roads, using commercial dumpsters, or within homeowner association common areas. The listed properties, not qualifying as single-family or duplex residences, would see a reduction in their bi-monthly refuse bills. This adjustment reflects the policy's nuanced approach to service allocation and billing.

The drafted policy, reviewed by City Attorney Scott Munzel, also covers guidelines for the placement and size of waste materials, items ineligible for chipping, and requirements for leaf collection. Additionally, it sets a schedule for both wood chipping and leaf collection services, with flexibility for changes based on weather, demand, or scheduling conflicts.

The policy is still being developed and will be presented to the council at a future meeting.

Image by Birgit Böllinger from Pixabay

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