End times near (for brush drop-off), says Travis County

Thursday, March 16, 2023 by Seth Smalley

Following a substantial decrease in demand, Travis County has announced that March 26 will be the last day Mansfield Dam Park will serve as a drop-off location for storm debris.

Winter Storm Mara created an outsize need for debris disposal at the beginning of February, after it snapped tree limbs and downed power lines throughout the county.

Travis County residents also should be aware of  the pending closure of a county drop-off site at Northeast Metropolitan Park, which closes even sooner – on March 19, this upcoming Sunday.

Before the sites close, however, both Northeast Metropolitan Park and Mansfield Dam Park are open from Friday to Sunday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

“Residents should be advised Northeast Metro Park and Mansfield Dam Park staff will not be able to assist with unloading, and brush must be placed in the Dumpsters, not next to them in loose piles,” the county said in a statement, adding that demand for brush disposal has steadily decreased since the first round of brush pickup.

“The drop-off sites will only accept tree limbs, branches, shrubs and leaves,” the county said. “Household trash, appliances, metal, or other non-vegetative debris will not be accepted.”

But even after the closures, residents still can use Austin Water’s Hornsby Bend Biosolids Management Plant to drop off brush.

Meanwhile, the county said contractors currently are working on removing brush from the western portion of the county, saying it anticipates a second round of pickup in unincorporated areas.

Earlier, on March 7, the county had announced that debris collection was expected to take multiple weeks “due to a high number of service requests and the high volume of fallen branches caused by the historic storm.”

That same day, the county said that it could help with brush disposal in any accessible roadway in the county.

“So even if it’s unmaintained, and we haven’t accepted it for road maintenance in our system, we can certainly haul brush from the right of way if it’s open to the public,” said Cynthia McDonald, head of Travis County Transportation and Natural Resources.

The city of Austin also takes part in brush collection twice a year with the Austin Resource Recovery program.

“Information on TNR’s service areas for pick up, directions for preparing for pick up, and minimizing fire risks can be found on the Travis County Office of Emergency Management’s winter storm recovery page,” the county said in a press release.

Additional information about the recovery from Winter Storm Mara in available here.

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This article First appeared in austinmonitor

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