Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Princeton's Yardwaste Policy Widely Ignored, Uninforced

Sometimes it's necessary to go over the top, or over the curb, to make a point. Princeton's Guidelines for Brush, Log, Loose and Bagged Leaf Collection are largely ignored, and have been for years. Along three blocks during a dog walk, the street was littered with violations of the town's rules. Being in Section 5, no brush is supposed to be in these streets until April 7--a week before the scheduled pickup--and no leaves until April 21. But neither professional landscape crews doing spring cleaning nor neighbors had a clue. I counted more than 20 violations, and though it seems a bit much to photograph them all, there really needs to be documentation of the disconnect between policy and reality.

The timing of all of these piles violate guidelines, and often their size and placement as well. The photos are matched with the quotes from the guidelines that they conflict with.

"Branches must be cut no more than 3 feet in length". (These were more than ten feet long)

"Please do NOT place within ten feet of a storm drain..." (Hmmm)

According to the schedule, these piles will sit on the street for a month.

"Logs must be...a maximum of six inches in diameter." (more like ten inches)

"Loose leaves are to be placed in piles...NOT MORE THAN THREE FEET WIDE EXTENDING FROM THE CURB." (The CAPS in quotes are the town's. It's common to see leaf piles extend 6 feet or more out from the curb, like these, which according to the schedule will remain here for four weeks until the next pickup.)

A little glob for the giant claw to pick up.



Brush and leaves are to be "placed IN SEPARATE PILES..." (Here, brush and leaves are mixed, another common sight. I doubt it makes much difference, but the town says it's important.)






etc. Again, all of these were put out with complete disregard for the stated pickup schedule.


Anonymous said...

I've noticed this a lot around the neighborhood too (I'm also section 5). I believe it comes down to following what your neighbor does. Once one house puts out leaves or brush, you can be sure within a few days more and more houses on the street will do the same, regardless of the removal date.

For me, a text or email reminder from the town one week before the pickup week would be helpful.

Steve Hiltner said...

Yes, it would help to have a signup for reminders specific to collections. I looked for this on the town website, and found only a signup for general announcements.