For the past several weeks I have been asking for ideas and suggestions on how to improve Mason, and I believe that a few people have finally come to understand that I really did look forward to your comments and concerns. The City Commission and I are committed to trying to make our town more “customer friendly” but the best way we can do that is to hear from you what problems you are facing and finding ways we can work together to find reasonable solutions.
One problem that has been brought to my attention through a couple of letters and some conversations, is the difficulty of removing branches and leaves since the new rules for garbage pickup have excluded those items. This seems to be a particular problem for some of our residents after storms that blow down such debris, and they have no way to take them to the landfill to add to the brush pile there. The rules for garbage pickup excluded these types of debris because we are anxious not to fill our landfill with materials that can be mulched and thus “recycled”, and is the same reason we encourage everyone to recycle plastics, paper, cardboard boxes, metal cans and glass containers at the Recycle Center on Ave. F.
In this situation, once we understood the problem I worked with the landfill supervisor to consider what could be done to reach a good solution. We decided to begin, on a trial basis, to collect this type of yard debris from our residential garbage customers on a regular basis with certain rules. First, we are asking that our residential customers call City Hall at 347-6449 and specifically request a yard debris pickup. This way we will add your name to a list for the next scheduled pickup which will be during the second and fourth weeks of each month as we have available time and needs. At these times leaves and small limbs and trimmings will be picked up as long as NO construction debris or other garbage is mixed in. Leaves should be bagged or in some sort of container and must be placed by the curb, and customers are limited to four “bags” per pickup. Small limbs must be no longer than 3 feet, and the diameter of the limbs less than 3 inches, and they should be tied in bundles or placed in a 32 gallon trash can, with a limit of 2 trash cans per pickup. Please remember that these items will not be picked up when regular household garbage is, and you must call City Hall to request that it your address be placed on the list for the next pickup.
Another change relating to leaves and limbs is that if you bring residential yard debris to the landfill we will not charge for that load. A couple of rules we will impose: you must be a residential garbage customer, and bring a utility bill to verify that, and the free dumping is only applicable to the brush pile and if you have any other household trash on the load the regular fees will be imposed. We are trying to make it easier for our citizens to keep Mason beautiful and we hope this will help.
Also, at Monday’s City Commission meeting we decided to repeat the used tire collection portion of the highly successful Household Recyclables drive that we sponsored in late March. The Commission scheduled a free dump weekend for the landfill for July 17 and 18 to encourage further cleanup around town. With the presentation of a utility bill all household garbage will be free, and we will have a flat $5.00 charge for any load containing building materials, and as always we will be unable to accept any hazardous wastes. Also on that Saturday we will again have a tire collection van on site at the landfill to dispose of used automotive tires. We will accept automotive tires for free from residents, but we will charge $1.00 for any business bringing in tires. When we did this before, our citizens filled two trailers and we had to turn a number of people away for lack of space. We will have a tire collection trailer at the landfill on that Saturday, and you can bring used tires to dispose of as long as we have space. We will not have as many volunteers to help, so it is likely that you will have to help load your own tires for disposal, but we hope that by offering this we can continue to work together to clean up our community. Mason is a beautiful place and we hope that you will help us to improve it and keep it the best hometown in Texas.
If you have new ideas or suggestions, or if there is something that concerns you, please let me know and we will try to find a good solution. Our goal around City Hall is to be friendly to our customers, and that includes every citizen who calls Mason “home”.
Your friend and neighbor, Brent Hinckley