The amount of recent rain and the fast-growing grass that has resulted has put a strain on the Murfreesboro Solid Waste Department and delayed pickups in some areas, according to city officials.
In light of the situation Joey Smith, director of the Solid Waste Department, is asking for patience while his crews move throughout the city, which has some streets with a great deal to collect and others with very little.
When going out for the day, crews never know what they will find. In some cases, it may take a couple of hours to clear a pile of brush, in others, only 15 minutes, Smith said.
Where normally his crews would be getting around the city every two weeks, Smith said it is now taking between 20 and 30 days to do so because of the sheer volume of what needs to be picked up.
“Due to the unusual amount of rainfall this year,” Smith said, “grass has been the main problem. If you will remember last year on July 4 and all through Tennessee it was basically a drought. Last year at this time, we picked up about 15,000 tons of brush.
“Here we are in early August, and it was 57 degrees this morning. It’s been a very unusual year for yard waste.”
Smith also took the opportunity to remind residents about city ordinances.
Yard waste must be no longer than 10 feet, he said.
According to city officials, this helps to prevent any waste from hanging over the sides of the truck and causing a hazard.
Yard waste, including tree branches, weeds, leaves, plants and shrubs cannot be placed in city-issued garbage carts and must either be placed loose by the curb or placed in biodegradable bags.
Grass clippings, dumping of which is not allowed at the landfill, should be mulched or composted, not burned.
Residents who need bulk items picked up should call the Solid Waste Department at 615-893-3681 to arrange for a pickup time, he said.
Furniture items are considered bulk items while appliances, construction debris, rocks, dirt, boxes, carpet and carpet padding are prohibited and will not be picked up, according to city ordinances.
This on-demand system is more efficient and will enable the city to eliminate a second truck following behind the primary trash truck each day, Smith said.
Recycling for plastics, metals and other similar items is also available at the recycling center on West Main Street next to the Murfreesboro Department of Streets. The center is open Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 3:55 p.m.