Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Answer Line: O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree, to the curb with thee

Dec. 21, 2016 at 11:19 p.m.

QUESTION: Can Christmas trees be put out with yard waste?

ANSWER: If you live in Longview, yes, they can be put curbside under the city's new yard waste program. I have to say, that's going to make life easier for those of us who still prefer real Christmas trees.

David Simmons, the city's sanitation manager, said only real trees will be accepted and all tinsel, lights, flocking and ornaments must be removed.

"They do not need to be cut up or placed in bins or bags," he said. "They can be put out along with other yard waste, or simply at the curb."

Trees must be 4 feet away from trash and recycling carts.

Longview residents also may take real Christmas trees to the city's compost site, at 2020 Swinging Bridge Road. The trees must be free any of any kind of ornamentation. You'll need to provide proof of residency such as a driver's license or a water bill. The compost site's regular hours are 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays. (This is a great service for people who live in apartment complexes, for instance, who do not have curbside trash and recycling service.)

Remember, though, there are some changes in the trash, recycling and yard waste schedule the week of Christmas: No waste will be collected Monday. Regular Monday collection will be Tuesday instead; regular Tuesday collection will move to Wednesday; regular Wednesday collection will be Thursday, and regular Thursday collection will be Friday. Also, the compost site is closed Saturday through Tuesday for the holiday.

Q: There is a vacant house on Judson Road in Longview that needs to be torn down. Can you see about getting something done about it?

A: You provided me the specific address and I asked the city's development services office if it had already been identified in the substandard building process. It was not on the list, and Development Services Director Michael Shirley said his office would investigate the home and "prioritize accordingly."

I've asked him to let me know what determination is made about the house.

For future reference, residents may make complaints about code violations and substandard buildings directly to the development services office or by using the city's online and mobile complaint system, CitySend. Contact the building inspection office with substandard building complaints by calling (903) 237-1074, and code compliance complaints may be directed to (903) 237-2760. To submit complaints using CitySend, visit longviewtexas.gov and click on the icon near the middle of the page that says "Submit requests, stay informed."

Q: I needed something put in editorials. If you can, please say to the person or persons who stole my star shower on East Melton Street in South Longview — please return it after Christmas because I'm going to use it at my daughter's wedding reception.

A: I am sorry the Grinch struck your home this Christmas.

Answer Line is going to hazard a guess here, though: I doubt the folks who stole your star shower are avid Answer Line readers. Your call did make me curious about whether there had been any increased or specific kind of theft of Christmas holiday decorations this year. Longview Police Spokeswoman Kristie Brian the department hasn't noticed a trend.

— Answer Line appears Thursday and Saturday. Email questions to answerline@news-journal.com, leave a message at (903) 232-7208 or write to P.O. Box 1792, Longview, TX 75606.



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