Ripon’s brush pick-up policy, as written, is strict.

   City residents must follow a series of requirements, ranging from not creating a pile longer than 20 feet, to ensuring no shrub clippings get mixed in with the brush.

   Fail to follow the rules? Then nothing at your property will be picked up.

   Or, so the rules say.

   The Ripon Common Council and Mayor Gary Will say otherwise.

   Following a lengthy discussion on the matter at Tuesday’s Common Council meeting, elected officials are noting that common sense will be used in applying these rules to real-life situations.

   The policy became a point of contention during the second April council meeting, when Ald. Rollie Peabody noted that he’d learned the policy had been changed since last fall. The new policy, apparently did not allow for public works employees to pick up brush unless a resident specifically requested it be picked up. That meant that even brush at homes adjacent to a property scheduled for brush pick-up could not be addressed without an appointment.

   That led to Tuesday’s discussion, at which the full policy was considered by the council.

   “I had a neighbor who must have called and asked for their brush to be picked up, and then the truck drove past about four or five other piles that they easily could have … picked up and put in the shredder, but they opted not to do that,” Peabody said Tuesday, referring to the city policy that currently says public works employees will only chip brush if it’s been scheduled for pick-up by the second Monday of the month. “... I understand that … he’s trying to make things more [efficient] … but it just seemed there wasn’t any common sense built into that program.”

   Public Works Director Mike Ehrenberg noted that “we made that adjustment on this last pick-up.”

   As such, the city will pick up brush piles as they see them when out with the chipper during that second week of the month — a change Peabody added that he’s seen enforced this week.

Read the full story, which lists rules listed in the policy and reaction to the policy as a whole, in the May 16, 2019 edition of the Ripon Commonwealth Press.