Merriam council agrees to start city limb pickup service as pilot project in 2017

Merriam Councilor Cheryl Moore was an ardent proponent of adding a city limb pickup service.
Merriam Councilor Cheryl Moore was an ardent proponent of adding a city limb pickup service.

Merriam will add a limb pickup program for residents, but not until 2017.

The city has been talking about the possibility of a curbside tree limb service over several sessions and city staff proposed instituting the event in October as a replacement for a large item pickup the city currently offers. Council members, though, were opposed to the idea of dropping the second of two large item pickup days that are run by the city’s public works department.

Unlike other cities in northeast Johnson County, Merriam does not have a single-hauler trash service for the entire city. Residents and homes associations can contract with independent trash haulers. Consequently, Merriam does not have city yard waste disposal (including leaves and small limbs) and a large-item pickup that are standard in the city-wide contracts along with curbside trash and recycling pickup.

“I think it would be a good community service,” said Councilor Cheryl Moore. “It gives people another option,” she said for burning the refuse.

City Administrator Phil Lammers cautioned that most of the complaints about burning are regarding leaf burning and the limb pickup will not eliminate that issue. Councilor Al Frisby also suggested a size limit for the limbs that will be collected.

After discussing the possibility of starting the service this summer, a second option offered by staff, council members agreed that it would be hard to notify residents in time and settled on a 2017 pilot program, possibly to be carried out in spring.