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Composting conundrum causes complete headache

ROUSES POINT When faced with the dilemma of where to take your trash, village officials dont want the problem dumped in their laps or at least their compost pile. The villages compost facility off Lily Avenue is seeing a lot more than the grass clippings, leaves and brush that is allowed to be dropped off, said Mayor George A. Rivers. Nonresidents who are not authorized to utilize the facility and even some village residents who are are believed to be those responsible for the illegal dumping and its something that doesnt sit well with the mayor. We provide this as a service to our residents, but theres a few bad apples out there who are ruining it by dumping lumber, cans, kitchen cabinets anything you can think of, said Rivers. Its not a dump site but its happening almost every day. Aside from household waste, Rivers said Department of Public Works personnel have also found remnants from freshly cut trees much larger than what the village considers brush. The other day, a guy cut a tree down and left huge pieces down there and covered it with brush so we wouldnt see it, said Rivers. [DPW employees] were picking up the brush with a loader and found it. The facility currently accepts composting materials from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., daily, said Rivers. However, thats a policy with which the village has been lenient, allowing residents to make drop-offs when convenient for them, including evenings when DPW personnel arent on-site. That will soon change, he said. Weve gotten to the point where were going to have to lock it in and fence it off, said Rivers. Its sad when it comes to that. Estimates are being obtained to fence off the facility, the mayor said. Once the fencing is up, the facility will only be open during the normal hours of operation. The cost of fencing is one Rivers said will be worth it when compared to the cost of having non-permitted items hauled away. We end up having to get rid of it at our expense. These people have no idea what theyre doing to us, said Rivers. If it doesnt stop, were going to totally cut [the program] off. In the meantime, Rivers said the village is paying close attention to the matter and is ready to take legal action. Those dropping off items not for composting could face criminal trespassing and illegal dumping charges. If we catch someone, were going to prosecute them, said Rivers. Those with information about illegal dumping at the compost facility are encouraged to contact the village office at 297-5502.

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