Grosse Pointe Park shifts to monthly schedule for large brush collection

Weekly collection retained for other yard waste

By: K. Michelle Moran | Grosse Pointe Times | Published June 5, 2024

GROSSE POINTE PARK — Starting the week of June 3, Grosse Pointe Park is changing its curbside brush chipping service schedule from weekly to monthly.

Under the new schedule, the chipper truck will operate the first full week of each month, with the chipper following the garbage truck schedule.

Department of Public Works Director Tom Jenny said the former model required dedicating two DPW workers to chipping for four to six hours every day between April and the end of the Christmas holiday season, when discarded Christmas trees are run through the chipper.

Jenny also said the old schedule was more costly because of increased wear and tear on equipment and operationally inefficient because of inconsistent demand for chipping service.

However, Jenny said the DPW would still send the chipper out to every home after a bad storm. And, if a resident did substantial yard work and needed the city to bring the chipper to them, the resident could call the DPW and “we could get that taken care of,” Jenny said.

“It’s going to free up labor (for other work),” City Councilman Max Wiener said during a May 13 Park City Council meeting.

Jenny said not dedicating so many hours and employees per week to chipping would enable workers to tackle road repair, street sign and fire hydrant maintenance, and other critical tasks.

Wiener said the city has also gotten complaints about noise from the chipper.

City Councilman Marty McMillan was concerned about going from weekly to monthly, advocating for going to an every-other-week schedule instead. But, other officials said that chipping could and would occur in a more timely fashion, just on an as-needed basis.

“The residents can always reach out to Public Works if (they need to),” Wiener said.

Weekly yard waste collection in paper bags or designated cans will continue. The only change is that branches larger than a half inch in diameter or 4 feet or longer won’t be collected every week.

City Councilman Brent Dreaver said that most yard waste will still be picked up as it always has been.

“We’re talking about big sticks here,” Dreaver said of the items that won’t be disposed of as frequently. “You’re still going to be able to get rid of your (smaller) sticks and things.”

Wiener said there was an Infrastructure Committee meeting coming up in the next quarter during which they could look at this again to see how the new schedule was going and if it needed to be adjusted.

Wiener said that running the chipper so frequently created a sustainability problem as well, because the motor would constantly be idling.

“I appreciate this (change) is data-driven,” City Councilman Timothy Kolar said.

He added that he was happy to learn that residents who needed the service promptly could still get it.

The council voted unanimously in favor of making the chipping schedule change May 13.

Officials said they intended to get the word out to residents via the website, email and other methods.