E Notice - No Leaf Left Behind Needs Your Support 10.28.15
October 28, 2015 - No Leaf Left Behind Needs Your Support
Dear E-Notice Residents,
I am writing to speak with you about our early experiences this leaf season.
As you know last year we introduced the “No Leaf Left Behind” initiative and introduced changes to the leaf pick-up process. This year, we held our second leaf summit with all of our staff engaged in the leaf process to review post-mortem results from last year as well as to think through new enhancements to the processing of leaves. For example, we are introducing a new piece of equipment to our tool box, a claw, that we think will add value. If we see a significant improvement we will buy another claw for next year. We also rebid the leaf removal process for Section B – we have a new contractor this year based on lowest bid requirements.
Importantly, we heard you last year about the need for strict enforcement of the leaf schedule, particularly the issue that some residents and/or their contractors were placing their leaves in the street right after a collection cycle thereby causing many leaves left on the streets for weeks. In our recent letter that was mailed to all residents with the leaf schedule, we also indicated that we would strictly enforce the leaf schedule and that summonses would be issued. Unfortunately I can report to you that we did compliance monitoring on various streets within Area A after leaf pick up was concluded on October 22nd and we had a very large number of violators. Over two days, we had over 40 summonses to be written – this was also a limited review…. we could have documented many more and this is not acceptable for our community.
I want to explain to you why I decided not to issue summonses in these cases - instead we are issuing warnings. It turns out that violating the leaf ordinance, even the first time, requires a court appearance by the resident; fines begin at $50. It was this court appearance that resulted in the decision that warnings would be issued for the first week of leaf collection in each Leaf Area. Summonses will begin the second week in each Area. Please remember that the homeowner is responsible for his/her landscaper. We have been in contact with registered landscapers and shared the schedule with them as part of our communications strategy.
A couple of other points to share with you. First, we did get a bit of an early start in Area A this year which caused some confusion for residents. Our intent was always to loop back to those streets that we started early but I apologize for any confusion that this may have caused. Secondly, as we did last year we will add collection dates to the schedule if they are needed. Since the leaves seem to be falling slowly this year, I anticipate that this will be the case. Please check our website (www.ridgewoodnj.net) for updates, and I will send E-Notices when needed.
Our staff is reminding all residents to not place recycling barrels or basketball hoops in the roadway during leaf collection as these objects cause a safety issue and unnecessary maneuvering of our vehicles. Additionally, leaf piles in the street cause potentially dangerous conditions by narrowing the street for vehicles, so residents should avoid parking close to leaf piles or driving over them.
Effective collection of leaves is an effort that requires the Village and its residents to be collaborative and mutually supportive. As a result, I would like to request again that you let us know how we can perform better and be more sensitive to your requirements. We are breaking in a new contractor as well as new equipment and we will closely monitor this but you are our eyes and ears and therefore we are reliant on you to help make this process more effective.
Today the leaves are not quite brown but the skies are grey – Ridgewood dreamin’ on such a Autumn’s day……Best, Roberta
201-670-5500, ext. 203
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