Residents who use Pflugerville's free curbside brush and limb pickup can expect changes to the service in October.
Starting Oct. 1, Pflugerville will change from a four-zone pickup system to a two-zone system to handle increased demand. The city announced the change Sept. 20. Public Works Director James Wills said the city decided to rezone pickup schedules because residents in certain areas of the city were calling for the debris removal service more frequently than in others. The requests put a heavy strain on city services in the first two weeks of the month, while the last two weeks were fairly light, Wills said.
Wills said demand for brush and limb removal has increased dramatically in 2012.
“In August 2011, we (responded to) 156 calls for pickups,” Wills said. “In August of this year, we had 627.”
In 2011, the city made a total 4,244 pickups. Wills said so far in 2012, the city made 3,459.
“(The rezoning) is a reaction to the increase we're seeing,” Wills said. “This will create a more efficient system for residents.”
As for why the city is seeing the spike in demand, Wills speculated the 2011 drought may be a contributing factor.
“The drought killed off trees last year,” Wills said. “A lot of trees have grown back, and people need to do more cutting.”
A detailed zoning map from the city that indicates when residents can expect to have their debris picked up is available online. Residents who live in Zone 1, which is largely on the west side of Toll 130, are on the pickup schedule the first two weeks of the month. Residents in Zone 2 are on the pickup schedule for the third and fourth week of the month. Wills said the program was evaluated and altered based on customer feedback and staff recommendations made during the summer.
The city recycles the removed debris into mulch used at city parks and facilities. The mulch is also offered free to residents at the Recycling Center located at 15500 Sun Light Near Way, Ste. B, on a first-come, first-served basis.
Wills said residents do not need to tie the limbs or brush debris they cut. Piles should be no more than 10 feet long and 4 feet high.
Residents are asked to time their brush and limb chipping with the zone schedule to avoid piles of material remaining in front yards for extended periods of time.
City spokeswoman Terri Waggoner said the free pickup service is strictly limited to Pflugerville residents who pay city taxes.
To get on the pickup schedule, residents must call 252-2447 or email Chipping@pflugervilletx.gov and provide their name, address and phone number. The phone line is open 24 hours, seven days a week.
For more information, including a detailed map of the new zones, visit www.pflugervilletx.gov/chipping.