"The problem here is capacity," said Wayne Ballard, Clarkstown Superintendent of Highways, pointing to the 30,000 cubic yards of brush behind him at Germonds Park. The 1-day snow storm last month left many downed trees, branches and debris.
However, they've hit a snag: space.
Trucks are dropping debris off at Germonds Park and the Clarkstown Compost Facility on Route 59 in West Nyack, which is managed by the Town Department of Environmental Control. Both parking lots at Germonds are filled—30,000 cu. yd. at the main parking lot and another 10,000 in the back parking lot. Over at the compost facility, there's another 10,000 from October 29's freak snowstorm.
"However, that (facility) is full because of how close in time Hurricane Irene was to this storm," said Ballard. "Since there's no room at the landfill, we have to grind all this up to create more room here."
The New York State Solid Waste Authority brought in an outside contractor, O&I, to grind up and take away the yard waste. NYSSWA will then decide whether to use it for mulch or biofuel.
"(O&I) are coming in and they say they can grind all this up in five days," said Ballard.
The highway department is working 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. and even to quickly remove all yard waste. However, the aftermath of the 1-day storm was such a large impact that leaf and yard waste pick up will be delayed.
"Irene was reported as a FEMA disaster and there was a total of 15,000 cu. yd. of debris from that storm," said Ballard. "With this one storm, we've collected 50,000 cu. yd. and there's another 30-50,000 cu. yd. still on the streets."
He expects that all yard waste and 60 percent of all leaves will be picked up by Dec. 31—if there are no major delays from snow storms.
"We've got a lot of work that's accomplished but a lot more to go," said Ballard. "I'm asking for the residents to be patient with us and hopefully, some cooperation from mother nature."