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New leaf, yard waste disposal times draw complaints in Northampton 

— About a week after the city implemented a new waste management plan that included closing the Glendale Road transfer station, the top complaint being directed at the Department of Public Works is the lack of options for leaf and yard waste disposal.

The Board of Public Works decided earlier this month to open the city’s composting area at the Glendale Road landfill on the second and fourth Saturdays of every month from April 1 to Dec. 1 — a total of 16 days. The city will also collect Christmas trees on two Saturdays in January.

“Residents are telling us the leaf and yard waste is not open at convenient times,” said Ned Huntley, director of the Department of Public Works. “They have yard waste every week from mowing their lawns.”

Huntley said the board decided that offering the service more often could create a financial burden for the new waste program, which now must operate without money from the city’s general fund. The board may re-evaluate based on the program’s budget at the end of the first year, he said.

“The BPW wants to make sure that the financials work without burdening the enterprise fund; it needs to be self-sustaining,” Huntley said. “It takes additional staff and equipment to do the yard waste on top of the staff that is there every Saturday.”

Under the changes, property owners with a residential vehicle permit can drop off the yard and leaf waste from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. via the landfill’s back gate at 170 Glendale Road. The service is free.

Brush must be less than 4 feet in length, less than 6 inches in diameter and must be kept separate from other yard wastes. Leaves will be accepted loose or in brown paper leaf bags. Plastic bags and stumps will not be accepted.

The front gate at Glendale Road is open every Saturday for disposal of larger, hard-to-manage waste items, but no longer takes trash and recycling six days a week. Residents wishing to get rid of those items must go to the transfer station at Locust Street.

The change occurred a week ago Monday, April 15, in advance of the landfill closing in late May.

Commercial landscapers can continue using the landfill until it fills up, at which time they will need to find another spot to get rid of lawn, leaf and other waste.

Legacy Comments1

Hampshire County just received a grade of "F" for air quality, in part because of the practice of burning brush. Limiting the hours that residents can drop off yard waste will only increase the practice of burning brush.

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