Madison Heights announces Spring Cleanup Day, No Fee Brush Chipping Week

By: Andy Kozlowski | Madison - Park News | Published April 27, 2021

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MADISON HEIGHTS —Two events in early May will help Madison Heights residents to tidy up.

The first is No Fee Brush Chipping Week, the week of May 3. Residents can place branches and brush at the curb on their normally scheduled garbage day, which the city will collect and chip, free of charge.

The branches must be placed neatly in piles at the curb, cut into 4-foot lengths, and the branches must not extend into the street or sidewalk. They must be put out by 7 a.m. The service is provided by the Madison Heights Department of Public Services in collaboration with the city’s solid waste contractor, Green For Life Environmental, known as GFL.

Then, the city will hold Spring Cleanup Day 8 a.m.-noon Saturday, May 8, at the Department of Public Services headquarters, located at 801 Ajax Drive. Residents are encouraged to clean out their garages, basements and yards, and to bring waste items that are sometimes difficult to dispose of, like car parts, glass windows, drywall, tires, dried latex paint, mattresses, appliances and more. These will then be safely processed by DPS staff.     

“Almost anything goes,” Sean Ballantine, the city’s DPS analyst and planner, said in an email. “The only restriction is that we do not accept household hazardous wastes — car batteries, old bags of fertilizer, etc — and we cannot accept any liquids, such as household chemicals, motor oil or wet paint. The idea of the event is for residents to be able to dispose of items that they are not normally able to at curbside, such as concrete, and provide a way to dispose of items that require less prep work. If a resident were to remove a privacy fence and put it at the curb, for example, it would have to be cut down and bundled. At this event, they can load entire panels or pickets onto a trailer and bring them in for disposal.”

Residents will be required to stay in their vehicles due to safety considerations. Staff from the DPS and GFL will unload materials from trunks, pickup beds and trailers.

“It’s helpful if there are no other items (mixed) in with the materials for disposal,” Ballantine said.

He also noted that electronics will be accepted, but they will be sent to landfills.

Spring Cleanup Day first started in 2007. From 2010 to 2016, the event was put on hold due to the recession. It then returned in 2017, although it was not held last year due to restrictions related to the pandemic. The event typically attracts several hundred cars.

“These events are being put on solely for the benefit of our residents,” Ballantine said. “We encourage people to take advantage of them.”

On the topic of waste disposal, and by extension, recycling, Ballantine also wished to remind residents to properly rinse out materials before recycling them.

“Single-stream recycling means that everything goes into the same container and truck, and is separated at the material recovery facility,” Ballantine said. “If a bottle of dressing is just thrown into recycling and the dressing contaminates paper and cardboard, those materials can no longer be recycled and end up in the landfill.”

Madison Heights Mayor Roslyn Grafstein said the two events provide real value to residents.

“It’s great that residents can take advantage of the no-fee brush chipping so that they can have branches that may be scattered in their yards chipped and turned into mulch or compost for future use,” Grafstein said in an email.

Madison Heights City Councilman Mark Bliss agreed.

“I’m proud that our city continues to offer these programs,” Bliss said in an email. “It’s a fairly low cost for us to run, and the benefit to the city significantly outweighs any cost or effort to put it on. Our citizens rely on this to clean up their yards without additional costs, and not only does it benefit the residents themselves, but it also improves the overall aesthetic of the neighborhood, making it a win-win for everyone.”

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