Confusion remains over city debris pickup

Tree uprooted during storm

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WICHITA, Kansas Some Wichita residents remain confused over the tree limb cleanup, weeks after the wind storm that blew through.

Keith Little in on the western edge of Wichita says he is not sure what is going on.

“They told him they weren’t going to pick anything up,” says Little. “And then they turned around and told them that they would.”

Little says his neighbors have been getting different stories. And, he says, he has spent a lot of time and more than a hundred dollars hauling off his limbs from the front yard.

“My daughter, son-in-law, four other friends of mine,” explains Little. “And me and my wife and my grandson. We spent two days loading five loads. Had to haul them to the dump.”

Those with the public works department in Wichita say there remains a simple rule when it comes to tree limbs.

“City-owned trees, we will clean up the mess,” says Ben Nelson with the city. “But those are the tree on city easement.”

So far, the city has hauled away 300 tons of debris.

“But for trees in someone’s yard,” explains Nelson, “that debris will be picked up if it’s fallen on city easement. If there is a sidewalk, it’s the space between the sidewalk and the street.”

But, Little wants to know what happens when there is no sidewalk.

“It needs to be cleaned up. I get that,” says Little. “But when I come home and neighbors down the street did the same thing, hired people to haul them off… then the city comes up, taking away stuff for free? It doesn’t make sense.”

City officials say, there remains a fifteen foot rule.

“Generally that is 14 or 15 feet,” says Nelson. “That is from the street into the lawn.”

The city says it likely will be busy for another three weeks.

There is a number to call for questions about city-owned trees. It’s 268-4013.

Also, there is a dump site just off 63rd street south and Meridian where you can take your debris.

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