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City of Knoxville, Tennessee
Madeline Rogero, Mayor

For Immediate Release
Brush Pickup Schedule Returns to Normal Aug. 8
August 4, 2011 - The City of Knoxville's Public Service Department is transitioning back to its regular brush pickup schedules beginning Monday, August 8.

Public Service crews have spent the past seven weeks cleaning up from the violent June 21st storm that knocked down hundreds of trees across the city blocking streets and initially leaving more than 120,000 residents without power. In the aftermath of the storm David Brace, deputy director for the city's public service department, suspended normal brush pickup schedules so crews could focus on the hardest hit areas of the city.

Since the storm, public service employees - often working overtime and on weekends - have picked up thousands of tons of debris. According to Brace, crews have picked up four times more debris since June 21st than they did during the same time period last year.

"Yard waste collection is a key service for our customers," says Brace. "While most cities provide collection ranging from one to five times a year including leaf season, we have continued to provide services at a high level (more then 24+ total collections annually) even with the major weather events experienced during 2011."

Normally the city picks up brush in every neighborhood every two weeks from February 1st until October 31st and then collects leaves for households three to four times from November 1st until January 31st during the City's annual "leaf season".

Brace said four of the city's six service areas are ready to switch back to the regular brush schedule but are lending resources to the two hardest hit zones to help them finish up. Crews are continuing to work until 7:30 p.m. through tonight.

"If needed, we will work Saturday," Brace said, "but at this point we feel confident we will fully transition this week to our normal schedules and be back in our first scheduled map on Monday."

Each of the service areas are divided into ten sections, or maps, and normally crews can clear a map in a day. That means that public service will pick up brush across the entire service area during a 10-day span. Since the June 21st event, several map areas have taken crews five to six days to clear instead of the normal one day route.

Mayor Daniel Brown is hosting an appreciation luncheon for Public Service Department employees from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. on Thursday August 11, at the Civic Coliseum. City Council members have been invited to the luncheon.

In addition to the June 21 event the department has responded to a series of storms this year including two severe storms in late April that also knocked down hundreds of trees while causing hail damage to thousands of Knoxville homes; flooding in parts of the city in February and an unexpectedly heavy snow season in December and January.

"The employees in the public service department have spent much of the year responding to these terrible storms and they've done a wonderful job," Mayor Brown said. "They've worked long into the evenings and on weekends and I'm very proud and grateful for what they have accomplished. This luncheon is just a way to say thanks for all the good work."
For Immediate Release
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