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Residents Frustrated With Lack of Leaf Removal

GREENBURGH, N.Y. – August's Tropical Storm Irene and October's nor'easter caused much damage to trees in the area. Months later, leaves and branches still litter the streets, and residents are frustrated with the town's response efforts.

"What is the deal with the non-collection of branches, limbs and leaves that have been on the streets of northern Greenburgh since the October storms?" said Greenburgh resident Marc Suzdak. "Many of the community members are pretty fed up with the lack of response from the town."

Suzdak noted a sizable pile of leaves at the juncture where Knollwood Road meets Whitewood Road near the top of Payne Road. The pile is "40 feet long, 5 feet high and 5 feet deep," he said.

"This is an accident waiting to happen," Suzdak continued. "And all of Mayfair Acres is stacked with trees and leaves. If this is not cleaned up soon, snow removal will be impossible. A large traffic accident is imminent."

Richard Fon, deputy commissioner of the department of public works, is working with the highway and sanitation departments to remove the debris from the roads. Town Supervisor Paul Feiner canceled recycling the last week in November so that crews could concentrate on leaf and branch removal. In addition, the crews worked overtime on two Saturdays for further removal.

While Fon estimates that the crews are past half point – and he will be able to reassess the remainder early this week – Feiner said that the crews might not be finished for another four to six weeks.

"We've been tracking everything and the volume of what we've pulled out is incredible," said Fon. "I think we've removed any of the hazards. I think that any safety concern has been removed."

Fon encouraged residents to call the department of public works to inform them of any potential safety concerns. While their main job in the removal is to pick up any debris, safety concerns often play a role in the areas that they remove from.

"We have been on top of that," said Fon. "I can assure you that any safety concerns are of the utmost concern and we have been dealing with them as they come up," said Fon.

Crew members have reported that it takes 15 minutes to pick up a single large pile of debris, which may be a reason why the town's leaf and branch pick up has taken so long to complete.

"We're working as fast as we can," said Feiner. "It's slow because there is so much debris. We are getting a lot done, but if it snows, we are going to be delayed."

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