Dunsmuir's free green waste event nets more than eight tons of debris

Cassandra Tiersma and Shareen Strauss
Standing in front of the chipper at the free green waste drop-off day at the Dunsmuir City Ball Park /Community Center Parking Lot, volunteers Mike DelaBona,Tony Congi, Dianna Clemens, Jessica and Liam Adamson, Julie Iskra, Brian Wilson, Lynda Scheben and Paul Blackwell worked from 8 am to 1 pm on Saturday helping unload trucks and trash cans.

More than eight tons of green waste was removed from Dunsmuir yards last Saturday during a free Green Waste Removal event that was held in the parking lot of the Babe Ruth Ball Park.

Lynda Scheben, the chair of Dunsmuir’s Disaster Planning Advisory Committee, said the event was a collaborative effort between the city, Clemens Waste Removal, the Dunsmuir Fire Safe Council, the Disaster Planning Advisory Committee, and residents of Dunsmuir.

The event was designed to “help improve our capacity to become more fire resilient,” Scheben said.

Saturday morning starting at 8 a.m., volunteers armed with gloves, a loader, a chipper and rakes worked to help unload trucks and cars. They gathered items including bags of leaves, branches and other garden waste.

Liam Adamson, a sanitation worker for Clemens Waste Removal, said it is important to remove green waste materials which could potentially be a fire hazard.

A total of 86 loads came in that day, with the last customer being Brian Cronkite. Cronkite, who works part-time for Yoj’s Lawn & Garden Care, said that he recently started his own business, specializing in “small-scale landscape projects, landscape maintenance, and property clean-up.” One of his clients, Cronkite said, owns four homes in Dunsmuir, and she wanted to take advantage of the free green waste disposal.” that day.

Cronkite said it’s important to stay on top of green waste removal for fire safety purposes, stating that in Dunsmuir there is potentially a real combustibles problem, with all the oak leaves, wild blackberry vines, ivy, and Ponderosa pine needles.

“I was really proud of the people who participated and took advantage of the free Green Waste Removal services today,” said Dunsmuir City Councilor Dave Keisler, who added that fellow council member Peter Arth and Steven Bryan, Program Director for Dunsmuir Community Resource Center, participated in the event by bringing three loads of green waste from the Dunsmuir Community Garden.

Daniel Prielipp with the Dunsmuir Fire Safe Council said more volunteers are always needed.

“We’ve been in existence for 15 years,” Prielipp said. “We are hoping to get more people involved in activities like the Fire Safe Council and DPAC. It’s hard to find people in a small town to volunteer. But with community effort like this today, Dunsmuir will be more fire safe.”

Clemens’ Dianna Duran said that only branches are chipped up and the rest goes to the dump.

During the five hour event, they filled four 20-yard roll-off boxes, plus an 11-yard capacity garbage truck. Duran said the total volume of green waste material disposed of that day was approximately 90 cubic yards, weighing a total of 17,260 lbs., or 8.63 tons of green waste.