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Expect Delay in Debris Pickup

July 2, 2008

By P.J. Lassek, Tulsa World, Okla.

Jul. 2–City crews are picking up storm debris as their regular duties allow.

Residents waiting for the city to collect tree debris left in the wake of thunderstorms early last month should be prepared for it to sit at the curb for a while, an official said this week.

“If you want the debris removed quickly, it may be better for residents to haul it to the city’s free green-waste site,” said Paul Strizek, the Public Works Department’s contract manager.

Strizek said it will take at least a few months to collect all the debris.

The city announced days after the storm that it would conduct a one-time, citywide debris sweep beginning June 16.

The storm damage wasn’t as significant as that of the December ice storm, but limbs were blown down, and some large trees were uprooted. Officials said vegetation damaged by the ice storm was vulnerable to the high winds that whipped through the area June 1.

Strizek said Monday that the city has begun the debris collection, but it is slow work that is being done when time permits.

“It’s kind of catch-as-catch-can with our crews,” he said. “We’re not using contract crews like we did to clean up after the ice storm. We’re using our street and

vegetation crews in between their regular duties.”

Strizek said the city has been divided into three areas with a few collection crews working in each.

“We don’t really have the equipment to do this,” he said. “We’re using equipment to fix roads to now pick up debris.”

Strizek said crews are keeping detailed records on neighborhoods where they have collected debris and will not make second sweeps.

Officials ask that residents do not leave debris on top of utility equipment, such as water meters, and not place it near anything that

might interfere with pickup, such as mailboxes.

Debris also can be taken to the city’s green-waste site and/or bundled for pickup by trash crews.

Residents may make bundles no longer than four feet long and weighing no more than 50 pounds to be collected during their regular trash pickup.

Residents also may drop off storm debris at the city’s green-waste site, 10401 E. 56th St. North, which is open 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. seven days a week except holidays. The location is near Mingo Road and U.S. 169.

Tree branches, grass clippings and leaves are accepted at the site. A current driver’s license with a Tulsa address must be presented to site monitors for charges to be waived.

Commercial and non-Tulsa residents also may drop off yard waste for a small fee.

Tulsans also may pick up free wood-chip mulch for landscaping and gardening use.

P.J. Lassek 581-8382 pj.lassek@tulsaworld.com

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Copyright (c) 2008, Tulsa World, Okla.

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