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DPW: Storm Debris Clean Up Nearing Completion

Branch, limb pick up is three-quarters done

Nearly a month after the , .

Leonard Lepore, municipal engineer for the township and director of public works, said the clean up work was three-quarters complete.

"Most of the storm clean up will be cleaned up by this weekend," he told Patch.

He said the township is using some contracted equipment and contracted operators to aid in the debris pick up. The township has also hired help for tree work, Lepore said. He estimated the cost of all contracted work to be $150,000.

Public works crews and contractors will work some days this week and on the weekend. But, starting next week, public works employees will return to regularly scheduled hours.

"They've been working overtime, hours at the end of the day; they have been working weekends," said Lepore.

He said it was still being decided whether the crews would work weekends next week.

"In between all this, we still need to do leaf collection. Once next week starts crews will be performing leaf collection," said Lepore. He said crews would focus on collecting smaller piles of debris and returning to areas to clean "more thoroughly of leaves."

He did not have an estimated as to how many trees were damaged from the storm. He said crews were also working to take care of low hanging limbs. "It's a slow task and it's monumental damage."

Though the bulk of the clean up may be done, Lepore said there are longer term problems to consider. "As we move forward, we are assessing damage in trees — trees that are structurally damaged and unbalanced. While things may wind down in month of December as to what's on the ground, there's still a lot in the air."

wohopeful November 23, 2011 at 02:46 PM
to begin with we need real leadership in this town and not the puppet regime of Parisi and company. The gross negligence and incompetents such as Lenny Lepore need to be the first to go. It is time to clean house at 66 Main Street! Anyone who can declare that 75% of the town has been cleaned when it is plainly obvious to everyone that it is not the case, is absolutely delirious and should be bagging groceries at the Shop Rites and not being paid hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars to tell a lie and not do their job properly. Our puppet Mayor Parisi should refelct on his failures this weekend and resign at the December 6 council meeting.
Gary Englert November 23, 2011 at 03:30 PM
What we need is fewer anonymous Internet nitwits spewing nonsense while hiding behind screen names.
Gary Englert November 23, 2011 at 03:31 PM
A post clearly based on facts not in evidence.
Gary Englert November 23, 2011 at 03:32 PM
A coward besmirching the reputations of good and decent men? How repugnant can you get?
Cynthia Cumming November 23, 2011 at 07:54 PM
I believe I asked YOU, WoHo, what you would do if you were in charge of the cleanup, and instead you only posted the usual spew of name calling and ad hominems.
WOLifer November 23, 2011 at 08:35 PM
Gary, do you have some Township position we should be aware of? You seem to know a lot about miles of roads and whose purview they are. No, I don’t know exactly what percentage of the Township's 130 miles of municipal roads I have traveled in order to formulate my opinion. I have eyes though, and in my subjective view, I see so many streets still with piles of debris in them that I don’t think most of it will be cleaned up by this weekend. Where I think Robert is failing us, or missing an opportunity to lead us, is in this clean-up phase. My feeling is it’s already too late for the township to clean-up all the debris in the streets before serious snow falls [imagine if today’s rain had been snow]. It doesn’t seem the township has the manpower and machinery Robert, tell us what needs to be done. If the township is going to clean-up these trees, please give us a schedule. If the township cannot clean-up the debris what do we need to do? If we need to cut up the limbs to 4 foot lengths and put them out for garbage collection, please tell us. If we need to bring the debris to the recycling center ourselves, please tell us. If we need to put the debris back onto our lawns until Spring, please tell us.
Gary Englert November 23, 2011 at 09:44 PM
@WOLifer (below): I worked for the Township as the Superintendent of Public Property (1999 to 2005) and, while not my primary responsibility, did supervise road plowing crews, etc., during winter storm events. Accordingly, I still have a pretty good idea about the size and complexity of the task at hand, and both the resources ideally required and those that are actually available to deal with it. You're absolutely right: the Township does not have the manpower and machinery (in-house) to quickly deal with an event of this magnitude. What everyone should be doing is placing their storm debris "at curbside" (not in the gutter or on the street itself but, on the edge of their front lawn). The Township will either pick it up and bring it to the Recycling Center or chip it in place, depending upon the size, volume and availability of equipment. Common sense dictates that those with the ability to transport debris themselves will help the cause by bringing it to the Recycling Center. Again, this is a labor intensive and time consumming task and difficult to give and exact schedule, given the vagaries of each street and the amount of debris encountered. The Township has plenty of experience in dealing with leaf pick-ups and snowfalls (of various volumes)and can pretty much determine how long those kind of clean-ups will take. An event such as happened at the end of October (and the resulting debris) is unprecedented and there is simply no benchmark.
WOLifer November 26, 2011 at 04:01 PM
Just FYI- I filled two cans with branch debris this morning and garbage collection took them. I have two more ready to go on Wednesday. I plan on continuing to prune and place as much of my debris out for garbage collection as possible. g
Gary Englert November 26, 2011 at 04:25 PM
@WOLifer: So there you go; nearly a month after the storm we have at least one homeowner still clearing his yard of twigs and branches! Anyone having the perception that debris is still all around town should consider the fact that folks are still putting stuff out for pick-up and that some haven't even begun!!! I don't know that you're doing anyone any favors by disposing of this recyclable material in the regular garbage pick-up; we do pay a per ton disposal fee for all our trash and your doing this doesn't help the municipal budget a bit. Taking it to the recycling center (where it's turned into mulch) or leaving it at curbside to be picked up by DPW, are much better options. Recycling is not only good for the environment but, it saves us money and energy, as well.
WOLifer November 26, 2011 at 04:37 PM
The debris I'm putting out for garbage collection is from my curbside pile. I'm pulling out and cutting/pruning the limbs/branches down to size so they fit in my garden debris cans and placing them out for garbage collection. Just trying to help clear the street before snow falls. Better than just waiting. My pile's a little smaller. g
Gary Englert November 26, 2011 at 04:54 PM
@WOLifer: If your pile of branches and twigs is "at curbside" and not in the street itself, there's no harm nor foul but, disposing of it in regular garbage just creates an unecessary cost for everyone. We're all better seved by having this debris picked up and recycled.
wohopeful November 26, 2011 at 05:54 PM
WOLifer you are to be applauded for taking matters into your own hands and finding a way to clear your street of the hazardous debris which our puppet Mayolr Parisi and his incompetent sidekick Lenny Lepor have been unable and unwilling to deal with. Puppet Mayor Parisi made sure his street was cleaned up before the Thanksgivign holidays, most likely so the Prism folks had someplace to park when they came over for Thanksgiving dinner.
Gary Englert November 26, 2011 at 06:47 PM
@ wohopeful: And you are to be applauded for your never ending anonymous and nonsensical comments.
Alf November 26, 2011 at 07:14 PM
Hate to burst the bitching and complaining bubble...But early Friday morning the DPW was on the job and my area has been cleaned and cleared of all storm debris. I'm sure ours isn't the only area (although Gary I have not driven the 130 miles of road to check this out) It is a huge job and the DPW employees should be praised for their efforts
Gary Englert November 26, 2011 at 07:43 PM
@ Alf: Then we're in complete agreement; it's a tough job and the Township's employees are doing a stellar job. Common sense and patience should remain the rule of the day.
Tom G. November 27, 2011 at 10:20 PM
@Gary - you mention above that yard waste should be put curbside to be picked up by the DPW instead of being picked up by garbage collection. How exactly does this work? Do you need to call DPW for a pickup? My neighbor routinely puts out yard waste into those brown lawn bags and they sit curbside for weeks until eventually the bags get so wet and beat up that the stuff just falls out and blows all over. I have never seen the DPW pick up this stuff. In fact, the WO town website actually tells you that yard waste can go in the regular trash.
Gary Englert November 28, 2011 at 01:59 PM
@ Mac: These guidelines are provided on the Township's website... LAWN/GARDEN DEBRIS: This debris is collected in limited quantities with household garbage. Grass and small hedge clippings must be placed in plastic bags or garbage containers weighing less than 50 pounds each. Small branches, bushes and small shrubs must be tied in bundles cut in 4 feet lengths and weighing less than 50 pounds each. Large branches and tree limbs are not permitted in refuse collection but may be brought to the Environmental Center or disposed of privately. Leaves are not permitted. 2011 Leaf Collection Program West Orange’s Fall 2011 Leaf Collection Program will consist of the collection of both bagged leaves and loose leaves placed along the curb and gutter of all public municipal streets. Bagged leaves will be collected from October 1 thru December 31, 2011. Leaves may only be placed in brown biodegradable paper bags which are available at the Public Works Building, 25 Lakeside Avenue, the Municipal Building, 66 Main Street and the Recycling Center, 590 Mt. Pleasant Avenue. Their cost is five (5) bags for $2.00. Bagged leaves will be collected weekly in accordance with the schedule below. Bags containing materials other than leaves will not be collected.
Tom G. November 28, 2011 at 03:57 PM
That's exactly what I thought. For the majority of the year any kind of yard waste must go into the garbage collection. The only time they recycle this stuff is in the fall during leaf collection. So I'll have to tell my neighbor that putting brown lawn bags out in July is a waste of time :)
jnjpa@aim.com November 28, 2011 at 06:23 PM
TF must be walking around with eyes closed. I'm in Pleasantdale Center, my street hasnt been cleaned yet. All in due time. Im an Insurance Adjuster for 30yrs., these things take time. See Gary Englerts reply.
jnjpa@aim.com November 28, 2011 at 06:28 PM
When are you going to announce your election plans? Cronic complainer. If the streets were paved with gold, you'd find something wrong with it. Like they didnt do your street first.
jnjpa@aim.com November 28, 2011 at 06:33 PM
3 cheers for the w.o. dpw! I live here for 58yrs. They allways do a great job, no matter if its snow removal or leaves or branches. All the complainers would go nuts if outside contractors were hired to clean up, only to have taxes go up because of Budget over-runs. Some people will never be happy no matter what is done.
wohopeful November 29, 2011 at 01:22 AM
Put anything you wish to get rid of in black plastic bags at the curb and they take it no questions asked.
Gary Englert November 29, 2011 at 01:51 PM
@wohopeful: Typical of the kind of post you routinely make and clear evidence of your lack of civic-mindedness and concern for the environment. While the average refuse collector has neither the skills nor time to act as a crime scene investigator, everyone has a legal, moral and ethical obligation to source separate their refuse and see it that it is properly disposed of. "Put(ting) anything you wish to get rid of in black plastic bags at the curb and they'll take it no questions asked" is the mindset of a moron.
Ryan November 29, 2011 at 02:34 PM
Moreover, what woho says is untrue. I have witnessed collectors tear a hole in a black trash bag to quickly verify contents, and seen them leave behind a bag that did not comply. Once it was a neighbor's bag of leaves and twigs, and once it was remodeling debris in excess of the monthly allotment. So tossing anything you please in a trash bag and dropping it at the curb is not only irresponsible -- it may in fact be refused pickup.
Mikey November 29, 2011 at 06:01 PM
Alternatively, the bags or other yard waste can be brought to the recycling center any day of the year.
WOLifer November 29, 2011 at 08:08 PM
FYI: Good news! DPW came and cleared Nestro Road yesterday, Monday, Nov 27. Looks like a very good job..road feels strangely wide and clear..Yeah! The bad news is there were orange cones in the street in front of my house to keep cars from driving over a live power line still on the ground [this is about 5pm] the line ran unguarded across my lawn to my house. Up above I could see a 3-4 ft piece of framing hanging from near the peak of my roof and could now see the insulation above my upstairs closet. No note on the door, no message on the phone.. What happened here? -Apparently, when they were trimming the town tree in my front yard they accidentally pulled down my power line. Well, I still had power and immediately called PSE&G to come put the live power line back up. PSE&G took about an hour to come and successfully, but temporarily, attached the power line to my house [I need to have the framing repaired to have it permanently fixed]. I called DPW this morning, Tuesday, Nov 28, and asked if they knew anything about my power line being pulled down during their work on Nestro Road yesterday. At first Vicky said “No, no one reported anything like that..” [I asked if she could please ask someone else..] A couple minutes later she came back and said “Yes, they had knocked down my power line yesterday while working and had called PSE&G and that I should call Business Administration for an insurance claim form.” ..to be continued.
wohopeful November 30, 2011 at 01:36 AM
Absolutely ludicrous Mr. Stanley. First off a bag of leaves and twigs is considered normal yard waste and is acceptable in the normal trash collection. If you are going to make things up please at least try to be plausible.
wohopeful November 30, 2011 at 01:48 AM
Sorry to hear about your troubles and it is absolutely unconscionable that you were not notified about the damage to your home. Yet another example of the incompetent management of the DPW allowing harm to a taxpayers property and trying to hide it. But on a fortunate note for you, now is the opportunity to make sure you and your family are made whole again and potentially get yourself a new roof as a result of the framing damage. Find a good lawyer and contractors experienced in working these types of claims before you file your claim to ensure you get the maximum payout you deserve. No doubt that your taxes have already paid for it hundredfold.
Ryan November 30, 2011 at 01:34 PM
From the Health Department website: "Lawn/Garden Debris: These items are collected, in limited quantities, with household refuse twice per week. ... Leaves are never permitted." The last sentence is emphasized on the website. As for collectors opening plastic trash bags to verify the contents, you may confirm this with the refuse collection contractor -- one of their supervisors called me to explain this after I enquired with the Health Department after I witnessed a collector doing precisely that. It was Margaret at the Heath Department who kindly passed on my inquiry -- I am sure she would be happy to do the same for you. As usual, woho, you are peddling misinformation. Get your facts lined up next time before handing out incorrect advice to your fellow residents. Link to the website with the 'no leaves' rule: http://www.westorange.org/index.asp?Type=B_BASIC&SEC={0F617C83-6C12-474B-87C6-C7922070328E}&DE={58B4CC3D-B4B1-4127-B4D8-70454BB433A8}
S. G. December 06, 2012 at 12:20 AM
Apparently not. Nance, Crestmont, Warren, etc have not been touched yet

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