Man wants city to haul away tree limbs, city shares reminder about ordinance for removal

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- The curb outside a Frayser home was piled high with tree limbs and other debris Monday.

The man who lives at the home on Ashville Drive wants the city to haul it away because he pays for trash service.

The city said he is missing an important city ordinance.

"They call it contractor's debris, which it's not contractor's debris, because I'm not a contractor," the man told WREG, showing us the notice the city left for him. He asked not to be identified because he does not want to stir up trouble with the city.

He said a contractor did not trim trees or put furniture on the curb. He did; it has been that way almost a month.

He and his family want the city to haul it away.

"It's junky," his stepdaughter, Anita Jackson, said.

The city's website states that "By City ordinance, independent yard waste contractors such as lawn services, tree trimmers, landscapers, etc. must remove all refuse generated by their services."

Public Works Solid Waste tagged the mess with green spray paint and reported to Code Enforcement.

The city's Public Works division said the issue is the scale of the mess.

The city will only haul away limbs or logs of a certain size.

In a statement, Public Works Director Robert Knecht said, "This is a violation of the City Ordinance regarding oversized debris, exceeding 13 inches in diameter and/or 5 feet in length. The fact that the property owner performed the work is not relevant as the violation is applied regardless to who does the work."

"If they want me to cut it down, how small you want me to cut it? You know, I could do that," the man said.

He does not believe that point was communicated clearly enough.

On his notice, he city marked the box for contractor debris and not oversized tree debris.

The notice is dated January 13.

The city said if the mess is not cleaned up within five days, the city will take it away and charge the property owner.

However, Monday is a holiday.

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