Mulch Piles Causing Problems

Monday, February 11th 2008, 7:56 pm
By: News On 6

The cleanup of limbs from the December ice storm has turned into a mulch mess for the City of Tulsa.  The state hasn't decided yet what the city can do with the mulch so it's piling up.  The News On 6's Emory Bryan reports on a good day, more than a thousand truck loads of limbs are collected.  That's good for the people wanting to get rid of limbs, but all those trucks converge on just three dump sites and the people who live there are ready for it to be over.

The action almost never stops at Tulsa's largest dump for tree limbs.  The Layman Van Acres neighborhood became the unwitting crossroads of the limb disposal effort and it's wearing on the neighbors.

"I know they have to put it somewhere, but this is a 2 lane road and there are people who live right across from it, and we weren't told about it," said Carol Barrow.

The noise of the grinder almost never stops.  At least the rumble of the trucks comes and goes.

"When they come in it's a big boom and when they go out it's not quite as bad," said Barrow.

In this neighborhood not only is the noise a problem, but the trucks are leaving behind some of the debris they haul by.

The city has three dump sites for the contractor and only one of them is isolated.

The dump at Mohawk Park doesn't bother anyone because there is no one within earshot.

It's a far different story at the third site, Johnson Park on Riverside Drive.  There the trucks go right past houses, two grinders are running constantly, and the steaming piles of mulch tower above the trees.

"But that was the only site that was available and it was the only one available when we needed it to be," said Dan Crossland, City of Tulsa.

Crossland says the mulch piles aren't in danger of overheating and catching fire though passersby have called it in to the fire department, and as soon as the state decides where the mulch can be dumped it will be, taking the smell with it.

The mulch will eventually be hauled out of the dump sites so the neighbors will have to deal with more trucks.

The city plans to repair the damage to Johnson Park once all this is over and they believe FEMA will pay for it.