In addition to its normal garbage collection, the Sanitation Department offers free pick-up for residential yard waste and rubbish as described below. A substantial amount of items are also collected for which fees are charged and billed back to the resident with invoices mailed directly from the Sanitation Department to the resident’s address. The intent of the free yard waste and rubbish service is to provide a convenient method for Fort Payne residents to rid themselves of such items without having to take the time and expense of personally hauling small amounts of such materials to the Fort Payne Landfill. The free residential service has never been intended to provide guaranteed free pick-up for all the possible waste generated by residents.
Yard Waste is defined as grass trimmings, leaves, limbs, and trimmings from dead trees cut from the resident’s immediate yard area. This material is picked up by brush trucks with hydraulic arms that reach out up to 12 feet and grasp piles of material and then lift the waste up over the sides of the truck.
Rubbish is defined as household goods which originate form inside the house, garage, or basement area which are too large to fit into the 95 gallon garbage can provided by the Sanitation Department. This material may be picked up by the brush trucks with their hydraulic arms or it may be picked up manually by sanitation department crews.
Yard Waste and Rubbish Collection Rules and Procedures
Items Which Are Not Picked-Up
- Paint or other liquids
- Any items which might be considered hazardous
- Stumps or tree trunks heavier than 500 pounds
- Limbs longer than 12 feet
- Loose pine straw, leaves, or grass clippings must be bagged and placed at the curb
- Materials which are scattered and not properly placed in piles for the brush truck
- Individual small boxes or tiny piles or sticks which clearly would have fit inside the 95 gallon cans provided by the City
Items Picked-Up Free of Charge
- Brush, limbs, grass trimmings, and dead trees cut from the resident’s immediate yard area
- Rubbish originated from inside the house, garage, or basement areas which is too large to fit into the 95 gallon can provided by the City. The list of acceptable items could change with time, but currently include carpet, appliances, furniture, and other such items
Items Not Picked-Up Free and for which Fees are Charged
- Materials from inside storage sheds, barns, commercial buildings, or vacant rental buildings
- Tires – fees charged are $2/car tire and $5/truck tire
- No substantial amounts of construction materials – scrap lumber, plaster, sheetrock, celotex ceiling, paneling, roofing, concrete, bricks, etc.
- Materials placed on or in front of empty lots or unoccupied buildings not paying sanitation fees
- Materials from torn down sheds, decks, fences, or buildings
- Material generated from the removal of live trees or the severe topping of large shade trees or brush which did not originated form the resident’s immediate yard area
The current fee for pick-up of items not included in the free residential yard waste and rubbish collection is $80. Invoices are mailed from City Hall to the residence on the first week of each month for loads collected the preceding month.
Other Important Considerations
- It is not considered important who actually performs remodeling or tree trimming jobs; the volume of waste to be collected determines whether the pick-up will be free or whether a fee will be charged.
- Every effort is made by the Sanitation Department to collect brush and trash on the same day as regular garbage collection. Whenever possible, to avoid unsightly mess and the potential for creating litter, rubbish and brush should be placed on the street right-of-way the day before scheduled collection in boxes or bundles for easy pick-up. Piles must be placed away from fences, buildings, telephone poles, guy wires, and low utility lines. Except for used appliances and furniture, no items which must be picked up by hand should weigh more than 50 pounds.
- The Sanitation Department has sufficient manpower and equipment only to conduct collections as outlined above. Residents are asked to abide by the policy and limit the amount of materials expected to be picked up for free and the frequency with which such materials are set out. With over 5,500 customers, it is not possible to collect materials at every single house every week. Residents are encouraged to haul any of these materials themselves directly to the Fort Payne Landfill at any time during operating hours.
- To avoid any possible misunderstandings, any time a resident will require a large amount of material to be collected, it is best to call the Sanitation Department at 845-0758 and discuss the collection first before placing the material out on the street. For ordinary collections, it is not necessary to call the Sanitation Department unless the material failed to be collected on the scheduled day of collection.
- The brush truck’s tires should remain on pavement while collecting brush or trash to avoid making tire tracks on grass. The brush truck arm reaches only about 12 feet off the road and will not reach down into ditches. The Sanitation Department can assume no responsibility for tire marks or for any damage done to the grass from the truck’s clam shell arm collecting such piles.
- All commercial tree service companies are required to haul their own brush and tree trimmings directly to the landfill. There is no charge for disposal of brush at the landfill. Logs, stumps and large pieces of wood, however, are charged a fee for disposal.
- To clarify further the collection of some items frequently presenting problems, the fee for materials placed in front of empty houses is usually billed directly to the landlord or property owner.