Maybe An Answer To Local Leaf Disposal

When all of those anticipated pretty autumn colors of leaves eventually fall, they become a disposal problem for local residents.

But a newly implemented program may soon allow Crothersville and other Jackson County residents to turn their yard waste into mulch.

Through an interlocal agreement between Jackson County Highway Department, Jackson County Recycling District and Seymour’s Board of Public Works, yard waste from throughout the county may be mulched and turned into compost rather than being burned.

“It can’t go to the landfill, and we don’t want them burning it,” said Debbie Hackman, director of the county’s Solid Waste Management District.

Hackman said if a collection site in area communities can be established then county workers can pick up yard waste and take it to a composting site at Freeman Field in Seymour.

County Commissioners approved that interlocal agreement last Tuesday during their meeting at the courthouse annex.

Hackman said the Seymour Board of Public Works and Safety still must sign off on the agreement, but Mayor Craig Luedeman has been cooperative and approves of it. Luedeman, along with all three county commissioners, are members of the waste district’s board.

Other communities in the county have expressed an interest in trying to find some way to deal with yard waste, Hackman said, and the district has been working on a solution for a couple of years.

The program would Crothersville to collect yard waste at a central site, and then call the county highway department when there is enough collected for a truckload.

The county recycling district, which generates revenue through a tipping fee charged at the landfill, will reimburse the highway department for its expenses. The county has estimated the cost of providing a vehicle, a driver and fuel at $733 a day.

“They will call me and I will check to make sure it’s clean so the county highway crew doesn’t make a trip for nothing,” Hackman said. That means yard waste is the only material that will be accepted from pickup sites. It also means someone needs to monitor what’s dumped before Hackman arrives.

The waste district also will pay the expense of chipping yard waste at compost sites every other time it needs to be done, Hackman said.

The challenge for Crothersville will be to find a site large enough to hold yard waste until there is enough for a truckload. The site also must be accessible for a truck.

The Crothersville Town Council could consider how to participate in the program at its October 2 meeting.