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No fines for brush piles as city announces collection program

No fines for brush piles as city announces collection program
Posted at 7:55 PM, Feb 25, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-25 23:31:30-05

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Last week's deep freeze has lots of people throughout the Coastal Bend with dead vegetation at their homes and questions about what to do with the piles of brush they've created.

Posts on Facebook about Corpus Christi Solid Waste Compliance workers issuing warnings -- that can lead to fines -- for brush piles that are in violation of city code are cause for concern for some folks.

“I really hadn’t put anything (on the curb for debris collection), because I heard what happened with other people," North Padre Island Resident Carol Lambeth said of the brush from her backyard. "Right now I think everybody is just a little scared."

Fear no more.

While they urge you to keep your brush where it's not blocking sidewalks or causing other problems, city leaders are doing away with the warnings for now.

“We know there’s been enough trauma from last week’s extreme weather event, and we know that residents and citizens are still trying to recover from it," City Manager Peter Zanoni said. "So we’ve instructed our staff to hold off on giving those out."

Warnings will only continue once all of the brush is collected.

On Friday, the city will announce a collection program that will start early next month, but Zanoni gave KRIS 6 News some of the details Thursday night.

Like the program the city followed to collect storm debris from Hurricane Hanna over the summer, the city will be divided into zones.

Crews will then go zone-by-zone, spending about a week in each of them, collecting brush piles.

They estimate it will take two months to completely finish the job -- though it could take longer.

“That’s based on some learning from Hanna, but we think there’s going to be a lot more vegetation this time around," Zanoni said.

Lambeth was relieved to hear that brush pile warnings were going on pause, and that a collection program was in the works.

But she says both should have happened sooner.

“We would have liked them to take action, or think about that before they started giving citations to people just days after the freeze," she said.

Lambeth has two city-issued trash cans full of brush sitting at her curb waiting for normal garbage collection.

The city says it's an acceptable way to get rid of your brush as long as the lid of the trash can is able to close and that you don't use your recycling cart for brush.

You can also get rid of your brush yourself.

Residents can drop off their brush at the J.C. Elliott ‘brush drop off area’ located at the J.C. Elliott Transfer Station from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., 7 days a week.