Letter: 'The Claw' isn't good for pickup of yard debris

Published: Wednesday, May 7, 2014 at 16:24 PM.

This is in response to the article on April 28 by Drew C. Wilson concerning the implication of the Mobile 3-1-1 system by the Havelock Public Services Department. The article comes at a good time since I have been disappointed with part of Havelock’s weekly yard debris pick-up procedures, but I didn’t know who to talk to. Now I do.

I just had my yard debris of leaves, pine needles and tree limbs from this past winter picked up and took pictures of the damage Havelock city workers again did to the ground in front of my yard. I wanted to show the actual results and the reality of what the knuckleboom truck (which I call “The Claw”) does. Everytime yard debris is picked up using this method, damage is done to the ground and I have to repair it. As in the past, I had to take sod and dirt from the ditch in order to repair the damage.

Using The Claw is not efficient and it takes twice as long picking up yard debris this way than it does when they have used the leaf and branch vacuum and chipper. The vacuum does a much better job in one sweep and does not damage the ground. When The Claw picks up a pile of yard debris, it also digs into the ground, no matter how careful the boom operator is. Then Havelock city workers still have to rake up yard debris afterwards and fill up a green recycle bin. Because the truck sides are too high, a Havelock city worker on the ground has to hand the filled green recycle bin up to the boom operator who then will dump it into the truck.

I have seen the leaf and branch vacuum and chipper take 10 minutes to clean up a large pile of yard debris with just one Havelock city worker and the truck driver. An equivalent pile of yard debris using The Claw takes 15 to 20 minutes and two to three Havelock city workers on the ground and one running the boom.

I have tried in the past to prevent ground damage when it seemed Havelock stopped regularly using the leaf and branch vacuum and chipper. I would place my piles of yard debris on my cement driveway. This way The Claw will only scratch my cement driveway and I won’t spend two hours raking leftover yard debris and repairing damaged property. When I have small piles of yard debris, I have placed it in a Rubber Maid garbage can, thinking it will save Havelock city workers time. I was once even told not to do this and the Havelock city worker dumped the garbage can with yard debris back on the ground, only to be picked up by The Claw.

If as the article indicated, it is Havelock’s goal to become more efficient in weekly cleanup, the Knuckleboom setup is most useful for picking up the large bulk items, white goods and large tree branches. The leaf and branch vacuum and chipper is best and more efficient on the piles of leaves, pine needles and tree branch sticks and twigs. The leaf and branch vacuum and chipper saves Havelock city workers both time and energy, does a much better job picking up yard debris and does not damage the ground. If the leaf and branch vacuum and chipper is broken, Havelock needs to get it fixed so that using both machines along with the implementation of the new Mobile 3-1-1 system will make Havelock’s weekly cleanup a very efficient operation. Thank you all for your time and have a nice day.

John W. Everson, Havelock



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