Mt. Vernon Register-News

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October 11, 2013

Leaf burning coming under scrutiny

MT. VERNON — Annual leaf burning season is underway, but council members want to find another way to dispose of the yard waste.

“We made a commitment about two years ago to have a study done and develop a landscape waste plan to make the move toward a ban on burning leaves,” said City Councilman David Wood. “We have been doing a lot of things, but here we are at that time of year again, and I think we need to take a serious look at doing that.”

Under the current policy, leaf burning

season runs from Oct. 1 through Dec. 15. Leaves may only be burned from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday. Leaves can only be burned on private property and not in the public right-of-way or on any public streets and sidewalks. Residents are asked not to rake leaves into ditches or streets or to burn in ditches, due to the traffic hazard from smoke blowing across the street.

“Even though people now aren’t allowed to burn after 5 p.m., there is an issue with smoldering and the constant smoke and the drifting of that smoke,” said Councilman Ron Lash. “There is also the issue with air quality. We have a lot of people with respiratory concerns. This is a very real issue and I’m glad we are addressing this issue.”

City Manager Ron Neibert has been asked to draft ordinances for presentation to the council and to check into the costs of adding landscape waste to the next contract negotiated for removal of trash for city residents.

In addition, the council has asked for options for recycling landscape waste and other items and the associated costs.

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