BELFAST - After a week of warm weather, brush and organic debris from winter has been piling up curbside, here.
Thanks to the ice storm, those piles are significantly bigger than usual meaning a bigger job for the city’s Public Works Department.
The same has not been true everywhere in the Midcoast, but in Belfast city officials extended the area eligible for brush pick-up this year to include the whole city, according Public Works Director Bob Richards.
Richards said more material and a larger coverage area would add several weeks to what has typically been a month-long project of collecting brush from in front of residents’ homes and bringing it to the city’s transfer station. The deadline for collection is April 30.
“We're probably looking at six to eight weeks of picking up debris,” he said, adding that spring landscaping projects tend to add to the job.
“It's just supposed to be storm damage,” he said, “but people lug out other stuff, so what're you gonna do."
A short drive down the coast in Rockland, it’s been a different story.
"We didn't get hit like other communities did,” said Public Works Director Greg Blackwell. “Not like some of the inland communities [...] We didn't have more than a couple of trees down."
The city’s week-long spring clean-up starts on May 5.
Blackwell said the major post-winter issue for the city is going to be filling potholes.
“I think it’s pretty much like that statewide,” he said.
Other coastal towns with moderate population density, including Searsport, Camden and Rockport, don’t provide pick-up service, but local transfer stations accept brush and other winter debris for those willing to transport them.
"A lot of people have landscaping yard type people who do work for them, especially in town here,” said Camden Public Works Director Rick Seibel. “Those people take care of it for them.”
“I don't know what other people do," he said.
Ethan Andrews can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org