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West Palm Beach yard waste amnesty begins Monday, April 22

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Posted at 4:46 PM, Apr 18, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-18 17:42:28-04

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Homeowners in West Palm Beach can save money on yard waste disposal starting on Monday, April 22 and going through May 31.

The city is offering yard waste amnesty in preparation for hurricane season.

Normally, putting out a pile of yard waste larger than 10 cubic yards curbside would cost homeowners $100 or more, depending on whether they called the city to for a special pick up.

But starting Monday, once a week, homeowners can dispose of unlimited yard vegetation for free. It has to be one large pile and must be put out curbside after 6 p.m. the night before bulk pick up.

Most tree cutting contractors like DV Tree Trimming service know they have to dispose of their own vegetation.

"For me, I dispose it in my dump trailer. Some guys have chippers," said Daniel Valencia, owner of DV Tree Trimming.

Valencia said he takes the vegetation to solid waste and the costs are already built into the estimate he provides customers. But there are some landscapers who violate city regulations and leave out yard waste in front of a customer’s home for city collection.

"In most cases, those landscapers are already charging the homeowners and then leaving the material for the city to pick up," said Peter Bieniek, Director of Public Works for West Palm Beach.

Homeowners could get a violation notice if they put out more than the 10 cubic yards of vegetation outside of the amnesty period and don’t call the city for a special pick up. The cost could exceed $150 if the yard waste pile continues to sit out accumulating violations.

"If there’s too much out, these trucks are back and forth," said Bieniek. "We end up working overtime for long hours, where if the homeowners take the time and do it in a steady repeated basis, we can keep up with it and not have to cause operational issues."

The city is trying to encourage homeowners to thin out trees and get their trimming done ahead of hurricane season to avoid sitting vegetation become a hazard during strong winds.

"If a hurricane comes through and you have a 100 mile an hour wind, a tree branch is now a missile," said Bieniek.

Here is more information about Yard Waste Amnesty Days:

  • Place your yard waste at curbside no earlier than 6:00 p.m. on the night before your regular yard waste pickup day.
  • Make sure that your yard waste is contained in only one pile in front of your house.
  • Place grass cuttings, small trimmings, and leaves in plastic bags.
  • Cut tree limbs and branches into lengths no longer than 4 feet.
  • Cut tree trunks and stumps into sections no longer than 4 feet, and no larger than 12 inches in diameter.
  • Do not mix yard waste with any other type of debris.
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