A sign in front of the Sylvania Township administration building indicating the location of the holiday tree drop-off site was vandalized recently, prompting township officials to purchase a new sign and place it behind a locked fence after regular business hours.
Officials said sometime last week someone crossed out the word “holiday” on the sign and wrote in the word “Christmas.”
This year is the first year of using one collection site, with residents asked to bring their trees to the southwest corner of the administration building’s parking lot, at 4927 Holland-Sylvania Road. The township changed from its tradition of curbside pick-up to save money, township administrator John Zeitler said.
He said $12,919 was spent on winter brush and holiday tree collection last year, including $7,387 in labor and $5,532 in equipment costs. The township has experienced a 30 percent drop in revenue in the last few years and has reduced utility workers.
In an email, Mr. Zeitler said curbside collection was “only being utilized by 20 percent of the population of the Township” in 2011. “With the limited dollars available, I made the decision to provide services to the township residents that ... would have the greatest benefit to the greatest number of residents.”
The centralized service seems to be attracting some resident support. “The tree drop-off has already filled up once, and it is rapidly filling up again,” Mr. Zeitler said.
With a week left for collection, public works manager Gregory W. Huffman reported that the township has “received over 200 trees for recycling.”
Mr. Zeitler said he has “received only one email questioning the no pickup.” He said he answered the citizen's question by stating a downsizing of the work force and reduced funding were responsible for the change. He said he received an email back thanking him.
The township plans to turn the collected trees into mulch. Trees will go through chippers and the residue will go to Clean Wood Recycling Inc.
The drop-off site will close on Friday.