Council considers limiting loads for free dump days
April 24. 2013 12:50PM
This spring’s free rubble site days could be the last such time Dell Rapids residents are able to drop off unwanted items with no strings attached.
For two days each spring and fall, the City of Dell Rapids allows residents to discard tree branches, old furniture, yard waste and other qualifying items they no longer want at the city dump south of town. That’s not going to change, but the council is considering limiting the number of dumps that can be made during those free dump days.
Before council members declared May 2 and May 4 spring’s rubble site days, Martin Blath, Dell Rapids rubble site monitor, told them some residents and property owners in Dells are abusing the free rubble site days by dumping multiple loads in a single day.
“I don’t see them for six months, until the next free day,” he said.
Blath said for residents who use the dump throughout the year at a cost, the free rubble site day is appreciated. But for others, it’s the one day of the season they choose to discard six months worth of unwanted material.
“They’re coming out there with three and four loads,” Blath said. “Let’s make it fair.”
Blath suggested limiting residents to one load each spring and fall.
Doing so, he said, would curb some of the abuse and bring in additional revenue to the city.
The council discussed the possibility of requiring residents to use their water bills as an entry pass during the free rubble site days, but chose against it.
Mayor Scott Fiegen said not all utility customers look at the physical copy of their bill.
Justin Weiland, city administrator, said the council has historically viewed the free rubble site days as a service to taxpayers. The free days also help with code enforcement, he said. “The benefit to the code enforcement officers, if we offer that free day, that can’t be an excuse for someone to say ‘that’s why I’ve got my couch in my backyard,’” Weiland said.
Councilor Mark Downs recommended the city review options and the feasibility of limiting loads for the free rubble site days in the fall.
For this spring, if the weather doesn’t cooperate, the free rubble site days will be pushed back to May 16 and May 18.
Free rubble site days - May 2 and May 4
Accepted items: Trees, branches, untreated wood, construction and demolition debris, sheet rock, plaster, concrete, carpet, furniture, mattresses, grass, yard and garden waste and leaves.
Accepted with a $15 fee: Large household appliances.