July 31, 2013

Wichita drop-off site collected 15,000 truckloads of debris

The massive pile of tree limbs and brush in southwest Wichita finally stopped growing Wednesday night.

The massive pile of tree limbs and brush in southwest Wichita finally stopped growing Wednesday night.

The free drop-off site at 63rd Street South and Meridian, opened to collect debris from recent storms, closed Wednesday night at 7. The site opened in early July and has collected an estimated 15,000 truckloads of debris, said David Spears, director of public works for Sedgwick County.

“I think it was a win-win situation for the citizens,” Spears said. “They didn’t have to go pay at the transfer stations, and this way, it was free for them.”

Bill Foster was at the site for the second time Wednesday afternoon. He said his daughter’s home was hit pretty hard by the storm, which destroyed the top of one of her trees. They ended up cutting the tree down.

“It’s a really nice situation,” he said of the drop-off site. “Otherwise, I would have had to take it somewhere to have it buried. … It’s a big savings.”

Spears said the county plans to burn the debris at the site but was unable to say when that would take place. Wind and the ozone level will play a factor as to when the debris can be burned.

“We have to be sure the wind is coming out of the south when we do it because there are homes nearby,” Spears said. “We’re not going to set the whole thing on fire at once, though.”

Spears said the county will probably burn the debris in small sections to avoid debris being carried into nearby residents’ yards.

Other trash, such as fences and building remains, can be taken to Waste Connections at 37th Street North and West Street or Waste Disposal at 55th Street South and Hoover, a release from the county said. A fee may be charged at those locations, the release said.

Trucks pulled into the site frequently Wednesday afternoon, as many people wanted to beat the closing deadline. But as for extending that deadline, Spears said the county doesn’t plan on it.

“We’re stopping today because we figure everybody has had a month to drop their debris off,” Spears said. “That’s plenty.”

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