The rush is over.

Haverhill's brush and leaf dump saw huge crowds when it opened earlier this month, but that demand has eased, so residents no longer have to make appointments to get rid of yard waste.

Mayor James Fiorentini said 450 people used a city website to make appointments the first week the dump was open. The dump was closed before May to prevent the coronavirus from spreading among residents and city workers. The closure left residents with nowhere to dump yard waste as they did spring cleaning.

Fiorentini said workers at the Highway Department yard where the dump is located feel the crowds can now be managed without residents having to schedule visits, so appointments are no longer required.

“We feel that it’s working out very well,” Fiorentini said of the flow of traffic at the composting dump.

Public Works Director Michael Stankovich said the appointment system at the dump accomplished “flattening of the demand curve” for residents who come to the center.

Although appointments are no longer required, a police officer will likely be at the dump on days that are expected to be busy.

“For the next few Saturdays, we’ll most likely have a detail officer on site to assist with traffic control,” Stankovich said.

Visitors must remain socially distant at the dump, where leaves and brush are composted after being dumped by residents. The center also includes a recycling area for paper products, glass, metals, plastics and some appliances.

Starting May 4, the composting and recycling center at the Highway Department yard, 500 Primrose St., began operating five and a half days a week. Residents entering the yard must wear face coverings.

Everyone using the center must buy yard waste passes and appliance disposal fees online. There are no hand-to-hand transactions at the center.

Passes cost $9 for one day and $45 for the year. The annual cost for senior citizens is $30.

“One other change we plan to make is to eliminate the credit card fee for paying online,” Fiorentini said. “We’ll be calling the credit card company to see if we (the city) can absorb the fee. If we’re requiring people to pay online, then we should make it as inexpensive as possible.”

Residents must empty all bags of leaves and lawn clippings which they bring to the composting dump. Brush is also accepted at the dump. Brush must be no longer than 4 feet, and no bigger than 6 inches in diameter. The recycling area accepts a variety of items including cardboard, metals, appliances, mercury products, batteries, tires, TVs and propane tanks. 

For more information, visit online at Anyone with questions should call 311 or the Solid Waste and Recycling Department at 978-420-3817.


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