Illegal dumping at the yard waste site in Bayside is growing to such an extent, Bayside Village Manager Andy Pederson said the Village Board is beginning to consider shutting down the site all together.
"People often use the word 'dump' and I have to ephasize it's not a dump, it's a yard waste drop-off site," Pederson said. "So, that means yard waste only. Not water heaters, not toilets, not all the household items, not chemicals, not TVs."
The yard waste drop-off site, located on the north end of Village Hall at 201 E. Fairy Chasm Rd., is currently open 24 hours a day and is unsupervised. This allows residents the flexibility to stop by any time.
But Pederson said that luxury has been abused as people are leaving behind all kinds of odds and ends that are not yard waste. He said a great example is Sunday evenings. By 3 p.m., DPW crews can have the enclosed dumpsters empty and ready for the following week — but by 10 p.m. that same night, they'll be full of many items that are not yard waste.
"This is for yard waste — branches, grass, fruit from trees — anything you can trim or pull out of your yard can go there," Pederson said.
The other issue besides all the stuff to sort is the man hours. Pederson said while yard waste is only collected from April through November, every other week, this costs more than any other village service.
"Out of any function we do, we spend more time collecting yard waste than anything else we do from a DPW perspective, on an annual basis, than anything else. That tells you how much time is spent trying to clean this up," Pederson said.
History repeats itself
Bayside used to have a recycling center as well, but, due to the same problem of illegal dumping, the site was shut down in 2009.
"People thought everything was being recycled and it wasn't — because there was so much contamination with garbage and stuff in there ... it was all being thrown away," he said.
The village at that time faced the same problem then it does today — too many hours spent by DPW crews cleaning things up.
"The DPW labor hours were going through the roof because there were enclosed dumpsters at the time and everybody would just throw stuff on the ground," he said.
Pederson said one proposal that was brought to the table was to shut down the current site and have one DPW employee head out once a month with one yard-waste and one recycling truck.
"Residents could come and bring it right to the DPW guy so it would be a service change, but it wouldn't be a service reduction," he said.
And while this will be an inconvenience for some residents needing to align their schedule with set drop-off times, the recent village survey shows only 51 percent of residents actually use the yard waste site, Pederson said.
Anyone who sees someone illegally dumping at either location is asked to call Bayside Police at 414-351-8800.