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Tree Disposal Changes Due This Season
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Looking ahead to clearing discarded Christmas trees in the Crossroads area, City of Riverbank officials have arranged with a Modesto group of Boy Scouts to handle the disposal problem and improve public landscaping at the same time.

Fourteen-year-old Kolian Rogers contacted The News to say his Scout group will gather discarded trees left in that area's gutters this year and grind them up to make groundcover for the area on the highway viaduct just south of Zerillo Park.

The city's Economic Development Director Tim Ogden, who will be involved in the project through his church in Modesto, added the Scouts will stockpile the trees in the downtown Del Rio Theater parking lot on collection day and prepare and spread the chips the next day.

Grover Landscaping Company, which helps the city in maintaining parks, will donate a chipping machine and adult staff to run it.

By disposing of the trees this way, the young people will not only be clearing the streets of debris but also improving the environment and beautifying the landscape, Ogden noted.

Aided by adult volunteers and their trucks from the Church of Latter-day Saints, the Scouts will gather trees only in the area bounded to the north and south by Morrill and Claribel roads and east and west by Roselle Avenue and Oakdale Road.

Outside this area, the city has arranged with Greg Payne to pick up discarded trees at $5 a tree, said City Manager Rich Holmer. Call Payne at 484-7260.

For the last few years, the city has contracted with Gilton Solid Waste Management Company of Modesto to pick up discarded trees from the streets. But Gilton this year proposed to charge an extra fee that the city's restricted budget cannot accommodate, said Holmer.

Gilton, however, has handled waste collection for Riverbank for many years including the so-called green cans that take leaves, grass and garden clippings. So, if residents wish to place discarded trees in their green cans this year, they can still do so, said a Gilton representative. But the trees must be free of ornaments, tinsel and other metal bits and cut up so they fit completely within the can with the lid closed.