Lawrence Township council adopts new brush collection ordinance

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Mounds of tree limbs, clippings and yard waste piled up on Lawrence Township streets  week after week will no longer be a common sight, under the terms of an ordinance adopted by the Township Council.

The ordinance, which was adopted at council’s Sept. 25 meeting, sets out the rules and regulations for brush collection.

The new ordinance, which replaces piecemeal ordinances that regulated how brush was to be set out to be picked up, grew out of a discussion about the issue between council members and Public Works Director Greg Whitehead.

Municipal Manager Kevin Nerwinski and council members agreed a new ordinance should be drafted to regulate brush collection. It is an important service for residents, he said, and that is why the new ordinance was drawn up.

The ordinance states that plants, bushes, twigs and branches should be put out in the curb or on the edge of the street in the front yard for pickup by township Department of Public Works crews during the scheduled week for the neighborhood. The township is divided into four zones.

The piles may not be more than 3 feet tall, nor extend more than 12 feet along the curb or edge of the street. Branches must be less than 6 inches in diameter and should not be more than 3 feet long.

Leaves should be separated from other vegetative matter and not mixed together with it. Grass clippings should be put in bags and disposed of with regular household trash. Trees and tree stumps are banned from collection and should not be put out for collection.

Property owners or occupants may not add their vegetative material to the piles in front of a neighboring property. They may not allow the addition of vegetative material to the piles in front of their property that come from other properties. They may store vegetative material on their property until it is time to be collected.

Municipal officials will take steps to educate residents about the new requirements. The township is committed to educating residents through social media and community events so they may comply with the ordinance, Nerwinski said.