Misuse Slows Debris Cleanup

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It's a sight many people say they're tired of seeing, piles of debris lining front yards and roadways. With cleanup crews finally out in Meridian Township there's one thing Director of Public Works and Engineering, Raymond Severy, says is slowing down the process.

"People are leaving out stuff that is not ice damage," Severy said. "We're getting shrubs that are cut down from landscaping, we've actually had kitchen cabinets, wooden pallets, even Christmas trees."

Cleanup in Meridian officially started on April 14. By waiting longer to pickup the storm damage more people started their spring yard work, adding that debris to their piles.

"We only want to do it once so we decided to wait until people could get the stuff out of their backyards and down to the streets," Severy added.

Meridian Public Works officials say they're about 25 percent done with the cleanup process, but the piles of debris at the drop-off sites are getting pretty big.

Severy estimate that this cleanup will cost upwards of $250,000.

"I'm glad that they picked it up," Meridian resident Debbie Richmond said. "I just wish they had been a little bit more careful with the process so we didn't have damage left behind to deal with."

Using machines to pickup debris, workers sometimes have to drive up on people's lawns leaving behind tire marks and small branches.

"We've decided we're not going to go back and do restoration," Severy said.

With about a month left to finish cleaning up what's left of the storm debris, Severy says residents will have to fix any additional damage to their lawns.

Crews are currently collecting debris on the north side of the township; cleanup of areas south of Grand River Avenue will start after May 5.

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