locally owned since 1854

If you use Woody Waste, get ready for some changes: card soon will be needed for access

By Dan Miller danmiller@pressandjournal.com
Posted 5/17/17

Card soon will be needed to access borough facility

If you use Middletown’s “Woody Waste” facility to get rid of yard waste, you will need to get a new card from the borough to continue …

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

E-mail
Password
Log in

If you use Woody Waste, get ready for some changes: card soon will be needed for access

Posted

Card soon will be needed to access borough facility

If you use Middletown’s “Woody Waste” facility to get rid of yard waste, you will need to get a new card from the borough to continue using the service.

Right now you can activate your new card by going to the Woody Waste facility on Industrial Drive off of North Union Street. The gates are being kept open for this purpose until Monday, May 22, said borough Public Works Director Greg Wilsbach.

After May 22, you will have to get your card activated at the Municipal Building at 60 W. Emaus St. from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on weekdays. You can also get your card activated at the Municipal Building now, in case that is more convenient than going to Woody Waste.

Borough residents can drop off natural wood waste and leaves at Woody Waste for free. The borough uses a grinder to turn the wood waste and leaves into mulch, which is also provided to Middletown residents for free so they can put it on their yards.

The card system is used to control access to Woody Waste. Non-borough residents from Lower Swatara Township and other nearby municipalities can use Woody Waste, but they must pay a fee. Contractors can also use the service, but they too are to pay a fee, Wilsbach said.

The borough has purchased a new $4,000 card reader system that for the first time will enable the borough to track how many people are using the Woody Waste facility, and when they are using it.

For example, the same person using Woody Waste day after day could mean that the person is a contractor, or that a borough resident with a card to use the service for free has given his or her card to a contractor, Wilsbach said.

The new card reader system will also make it easier for the borough to catch and fine people who use Woody Waste for illegal dumping of items like household trash and construction debris.

“We’ve had motor oil up here, tires thrown, stuff like that,” Wilsbach said. “We see something that was thrown up here that shouldn’t have we can go back and run a report and say five people were at this facility last night, let’s nail down who did it.”

The borough is also installing surveillance cameras as part of the upgrade, he added.

A page on the borough website, www.middletownborough.com, makes clear what is and what is not to be taken to Woody Waste.

Leaves, twigs, branches, brush, bushes, shrubbery, vines, kindling, driftwood, and wood chips are all allowed to be dropped off at Woody Waste.

The borough does not accept trash, grass or grass clippings, or construction debris such as timber, paneling, shingles, beams, molding, shelves, doors, boards and lumber.

Another recent improvement to Woody Waste results from the borough spending about $13,000 for repairs to the grinder — known as The Beast — that grinds up the piles of waste into mulch.

The mulch product that comes out of the grinder is now finer and of better quality than before, said Wilsbach.

While Woody Waste is now completely free to borough residents, that could change.

Council is awaiting a report from Wilsbach regarding whether to impose a fee on residents to cover the cost of a borough employee loading up one or more truckloads of mulch for residents to pick up.

Wilsbach said he doesn’t favor imposing a fee for borough residents to drop off yard waste. But a fee just for loading mulch could help the borough recoup some of the money it has spent to improve Woody Waste, such as the new card system to make the service more accountable, and the improved mulch product coming from the grinder.

Comments

No comments on this story | Please log in to comment by clicking here
Please log in or register to add your comment