Update on Organic Debris program

Dear Neighbors,

Currently, any resident who pays Full Fees and Civic League dues is entitled to have 2 cubic yards of organic debris removed from their property monthly during the months of March, April, May, June, July, September, October, and November. The sign up form on the website previously included the following question: “Do you request pickup greater than the allowed 2 cubic yards?” If the answer was “yes” the resident was charged $45 for every additional 2 cubic yards removed from the property.

Recently, we have had a significant uptick in the number of properties from which debris well in excess of the allotted 2 cubic yards has been removed but the residents have not agreed to pay for the overages. The Civic League then has to pay for those overages. I know that sometimes the resident is not to blame for this disconnect. Neighbors who are not entitled to the service dump their debris when they see a pile. Sometimes the pile is within limits when the resident signs up but, by the time the pile is picked up, it has grown beyond the allotted amount.

While I acknowledge those problems, the Civic League simply does not have the resources to provide unlimited debris removal.

We know that the program is important to the community, so we have to find a way for it to pay for itself. Parks & People removes the entire pile from the addresses we give them. We cannot ask Parks & People to remove only 2 cubic yards from the houses that do not agree to the overage for a host of practical reasons. The fees we pay to Roads & Maintenance cover not only debris and snow removal but are what we use to repair our failing infrastructure, mainly the paths that crisscross the neighborhood and the green spaces throughout the community.

For all of these reasons, we are going to modify the organic debris program in the following manner beginning with the next pick up, which occurs in September: When a resident signs up for pick up, the resident will have to agree to pay for any overage or the resident will not be entitled to pick up. The online form has been changed to reflect this new policy. I know this may cause some hard feelings among residents who feel their neighbors are abusing the program.

The world would be a better place if every resident of Roland Park would pay Full Fees and Civic League dues. We would have the resources to operate this program and money to improve infrastructure, trim trees, etc. Until we achieve that goal, the services we offer must be limited by the budget we have. I appreciate your anticipated cooperation.

Very truly yours,

Trudy Bartel
Chair, Maintenance Committee

For information on the Organic Debris program, including where to sign up, visit this page.

This information originally appeared in the  July 21, 2016 Roland Park e-letter.