NEWBURYPORT — The term "pre-season" often relates to the weeks building up to the start of a sports season, but city officials here are declaring early "workouts" for those who want to drop off lawn waste before the scheduled opening of the compost center.
While the city's yard-waste facility on Crow Lane doesn't officially open until Tuesday, April 10, the city is holding three pre-season sessions this Saturday and again Friday, April 6, and Saturday, April 7, all from 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
"We've had phone calls from many residents who have been working in their yards, and want to drop off some material," said Molly Ettenborough, the city's recycling and energy coordinator. "So we are opening the center on a part-time basis earlier than usual."
City officials have been developing a new compost facility on Crow Lane. But it is not yet finished, so residents will use the old site for the foreseeable future.
The facility is a seasonal operation, open from mid-April to December on Tuesdays through Saturdays from 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Leaves, garden refuse and shrub trimmings as well as branches and trunks up to 18 inches in diameter are accepted. Stumps, stones, wood, plastics and trash are not allowed.
While the compost facility will accept grass clippings in paper bags, Ettenborough encourages residents to leave grass clippings on their lawns, though "we will accept grass in paper bags."
Proof of residency is required to obtain a seasonal sticker for the compost facility. Fees are $20 for residents, although $5 for those over 65.
Stickers are available in the Health Department at City Hall until the facility opens, at which point they will be sold at Crow Lane.
In addition to the compost facility, curbside bagged leaf collection will also be offered during the weeks of April 23 and May 7 on residents' regular trash days. Residents must place leaves in brown paper leaf bags or keep them loose in marked barrels, officials said. Curbside leaf collection will take place on one's regular trash day.
Bags must be placed curbside by 7 a.m. and contain leaves only. Bags with branches, plants, dirt, rocks or trash are not permitted and will be left behind, Ettenborough said.
For more information, contact Ettenborough at 978-499-0413 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.