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The primary reason for keeping yard waste off the roadway surface is storm water protection. When rainwater flows through yard waste sitting in the road, the water is contaminated with high levels of phosphorus. Contaminated water then drains into storm sewers which empty into local creeks, streams, rivers, and the Bay of Green Bay. Phosphorous promotes algae growth and depletes oxygen content for aquatic life. Water running through yard waste sitting on grass has a much higher chance of soaking into the ground and not getting into natural waterways. Wisconsin DNR and federal EPA rules require the City of Green Bay to maintain programs to improve natural water quality. The no-leaves-in-the-street ordinance is one of those programs. Failure on the part of the City to enforce stormwater protection rules results in penalties imposed by the state in the form of fines and state/federal aid reductions. Reduced revenue from other sources means that the City must raise property tax assessments to balance the budget.
City of Green Bay Municipal Code (Chapter 32) requires solid waste to be placed only on property one owns, controls, or leases until collected. Yard and garden waste is defined in Municipal Code as solid waste. Yard waste must be placed on the terrace which (although is roadway right-of-way) is property under control of the adjacent property owner. DPW asks residents to do their part to maintain Green Bay’s compliance with stormwater protection laws.
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Contact the Parking Division at 920-448-3431 during office hours of 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, send an email, or use the Request for Service website.
Parking tickets can be paid multiple ways.
The City of Green Bay enacted a municipal vehicle registration fee to provide the City with a source of funds to be used for transportation purposes effective January 1, 2019. If you were charged the $20 fee and are not a resident of the City of Green Bay, please call the Wisconsin Department of Transportation at 608-264-7447 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org to correct. Information about this fee is available at http://wisconsindot.gov/Pages/dmv/vehicles/title-plates/wheeltax.aspx. DMV will issue refunds for any wheel tax fees paid in error for the current registration period only. If you have additional questions contact Green Bay Office at 920-448-3020.
Fill out the Long Grass Complaint form on the Request for Service website. This information will be redirected to the appropriate staff member.
24-84 Noxious Weeds & Maintenance of Vegetation.
Eight (8) inches.
NO. Once a property is tagged for the first time each season, DPW re-checks the property periodically throughout the summer for continued compliance. However, if the grass is at or over 8 inches in height, please feel free to inform DPW.
An invoice is issued for the cost of the work done by the City. If a property is a habitual offender, then a citation can be issued to the owner for violating Municipal Code 24-84. Rates are updated/increase annually and approved by City Council. Call DPW at 920-448-3535 for the current rate.
The City asks residents to first act neighborly and talk to their non-complying neighbors. If that process does not work, then a complaint about the property must be filed with DPW, either by phone or online. In response DPW will visit the property to determine if there is a violation. If in violation, DPW will place a green tag on the door of the house to notify the resident of the issue. Resident owners are given 24 hours to take care of the issue or DPW will return, cut grass/weeds, and invoice the owner. If the owner does not live at the property, Wisconsin State Statute mandates that DPW send a letter via mail to the property owner of record and give them seven (7) days to take care of the issue or DPW will return, cut grass/weeds, and invoice the owner.
DPW has a limited number of vehicles that can vacuum yard waste directly off of the terrace to keep yard waste off the street during collection. However, vacuum collection is a slow process, and vacuum trucks cannot pick up brush and larger yard waste. Anything other than grass and leaves clogs the vacuum tube and vacuum mechanism. Depending on conditions, grass and leaves sometimes also clog the vacuum truck. So multiple types of equipment must be used for yard waste collection.
The most effective and least time-consuming method for yard waste collection is to sweep it off the terrace into large piles and bulk load it into trucks. Of course this method leaves a mess on the road. So shortly after the yard waste is loaded, DPW sweeps the street. Using this method, yard waste sits on the street for a short time during the collection process compared to yard waste sitting in the street for longer periods of time before DPW can collect it.
Sidewalks and terrace grass adjacent to the road are located within public street right-of-way and not on private property. However, City ordinance requires the adjacent property owner to maintain of grass and sidewalks adjacent to their property.
When DPW collects yard and garden waste, they must do it in as efficient a manner as possible. Decades ago, DPW employees physically raked leaves into the street and vacuumed them into trucks. That manual method of removal was eliminated due to very high labor costs and was replaced by other methods to save time and cost.
Contrary to popular belief, DPW’s goal is to do no damage when collecting yard waste. Unfortunately, reality prevails and terrace damage sometimes occurs. If DPW causes damage to large sections of terrace grass and/or gouges the terrace during yard waste collection, DPW will repair that damage if the property owner asks.
Repair of small/incidental marks on the terrace are left to the adjacent property owner, with DPW’s apologies for leaving the marks. Terrace damage is reviewed on a case-by-case basis when requested by a resident. If bad enough to warrant repair, DPW repairs terrace damage in the spring of each year using topsoil and seed. Rolled sod is not used for these repairs.
Also as an item of interest, DPW recognizes that grass blades turn brown when yard waste sits on them for long periods of time. The grass blades die due to lack of sunlight. However, the grass root system remains alive but dormant. Once sunlight and oxygen is restored to the grass, it will re-grow.
DPW collects yard and garden waste using sanitation collection routing maps. Each year, a different route/day is selected to start the season. Yard waste collection does not necessarily occur on the same day as trash and recycling collection, but it could depending on progress of the crews. When one round of collection is complete, DPW starts the cycle again.
Residents who follow the DPW Facebook page and City website information will also note that DPW collects yard waste in multiple routes (e.g. – Tuesday and Wednesday) on the same day. This is done to maximize use of equipment.
For example, if a vacuum is assigned to a route, it typically goes through before the bulk crew to collect separated grass/leaf piles because that is all a vacuum unit can effectively collect. When a bulk crew is assigned to a collection route, tractors go ahead of the collection vehicles to place yard waste in piles on the road. Then loaders place the bulk piles in dump trucks. Finally a sweeper cleans up the remaining debris on the road. Tractors typically complete their task at any location faster than loaders. And loaders typically complete their task at any location faster than sweepers. This leads to units getting spread out over multiple routes.
DPW makes all effort to pull only the yard waste that can be collected in one day onto the street. If too much is pulled out, it is pushed back and/or barricaded for the evening. If DPW forgets to collect a pile sitting on the road, residents are asked to call so it can be addressed ASAP.
DPW has a limited number of vehicles that can vacuum grass and leaves. Vacuum trucks cannot pick up brush and larger yard waste without clogging the vacuum tube and vacuum mechanism. If a vacuum truck is assigned to a collection route, they collect leaves and grass only, and other vehicles collect the remaining yard waste. This speeds the collection process.
If a vacuum truck is not assigned to a route, then all yard waste is collected by a bulk crew. In order to be flexible with vacuum truck route scheduling, DPW asks all residents to separate grass/leaves from brush when placing it out for collection.
Curbside collection of yard and garden waste is a time-consuming process. It can take a day or less to collect yard waste in one day’s sanitation routes at the beginning of the season. But once yard waste volume increases later in the season, it takes much longer to complete each route. This is why DPW does not advertise or guarantee leaf collection on the same day as sanitation collection.
In addition, if DPW concentrates all yard waste collection units in one route on the same day as sanitation collection, it causes space conflicts between leaf piles in the street, trash/recycling vehicles, yard waste vehicles, and motorists. Regardless of the day yard waste is collected, DPW attempts to complete its collection process as quickly and efficiently as possible.
Each work day during the yard and garden waste collection period, DPW posts its collection progress as of the end of the previous work day. Reports are posted on the DPW Facebook page and City website. This is done so residents can plan clean-up efforts to minimize the time leaves sit at the curb.
DPW would love to be able to provide a high level of advance detail on each day’s yard and garden waste collection plan. Unfortunately, it is impossible to predict what specific streets DPW will collect each day because each collection crew moves at a different rate depending on volume of yard waste present at the time of collection. Also, the sequence of streets collected in each route is left up to each crew because collection efficiency can also depend on how much yard waste is set out in any particular route. So the logistics of defining in advance where multiple crews will collect in different areas across the City is not feasible.
For the above reasons, DPW reports only collection completed as opposed to predicting where crews will be each day.
The east side of the City has more undeveloped land and contains many newer subdivisions with much younger trees. So the west side of the City has more mature/older trees than the east side. This leads to more yard waste collection volume on the west side which can take longer to collect.
DPW is aware of this difference and makes efforts to schedule crews to complete the same number of collection rounds on both sides of the City each season. For example, if a round of yard waste collection on the east side is completed ahead of a round on the west side, then crews are shifted west to help complete that collection round before moving to the next round. Also depending on the time of the season, more crews may be assigned west than east to balance the collection process on both sides of the river.
Depending on where your driveway is located, it can receive more snow than the driveway across the street or next door. Following is a list of driveway locations that typically receive more snow than others:
This phenomenon occurs because snow builds up in front of the plow blade when plowing right-curving roads, long straight distances between driveways, and snow drifts. Then when the plow gets to the next driveway, the snow slumps onto the open pavement. This is an unfortunate result of the location of the driveway, roadway geometry, and snow plow angle. DPW plays no favorites when plowing past the City’s 40,000+ driveways. Contrary to popular belief there is no easy method to equalize the amount of snow plowed onto each driveway.
Salt is not used on residential streets in the City of Green Bay. This practice is consistent with most communities around the country. Residents must expect snow to accumulate on residential streets. Residential street snow-pack is addressed throughout the course of the winter in several ways:
Like streets, sidewalks are a transportation facility used by the general public. Since the property owner has no control over how well others can traverse their snow/ice covered sidewalk, the City requires sidewalks to be cleared to the pavement within 24 hours after each winter event ends. If a sidewalk is not shoveled and the City is aware of it, DPW is obligated to clear it and charge the property owner for the service. Ordinance citations can also be issued for this issue.
Unlike a sidewalk, driveways are built solely for the benefit of the property owner/resident, not the general public. Each resident is responsible for their own mobility and safety on their own driveway. So the City does not require driveway snow to be cleared from driveways. It is up to the resident to decide if they wish to clear snow from their driveway or just drive over it. The only exception is that the sidewalk section across a driveway must be cleared to the pavement if the property has sidewalks.
City of Green Bay official street right-of-way (a.k.a. – terrace area) extends anywhere from 6 to 20 feet behind the curb, depending on the type of street. This extra space allows for placement of utilities, signs, street lights, traffic signals, trees, and storage of plowed snow. Unfortunately for residents, driveway aprons (located in the terrace) are an official street plowing snow storage location.
Residents do not have to shovel their driveway or driveway apron. If they do, it is the resident’s responsibility to move their driveway snow to another location. Per City ordinance, driveway and sidewalk snow cannot be placed into the roadway. It must be stored on the terrace or in the front yard. Citations can be issued to residents who place snow back into the roadway.
Mailboxes and mailbox posts located at the street can be damaged from snow pushed against them or a plow accidentally hitting them. Most mailbox damage is recorded/reported by the plow operator when it happens. But sometimes the plow driver does not realize that a mailbox was damaged from their activity. If you have a broken mailbox or post that was damaged from DPW plow activity, don’t hesitate to contact DPW to report it. The City addresses plow-damaged mailboxes in one of the following ways:
DPW monitors street conditions throughout the winter and notes when snow on residential streets is building up. In response to those conditions, DPW scrapes residential streets periodically throughout the winter as time/equipment/scheduling permits.
Snow/ice pack on residential streets is cleared with road graders and loaders, which place hydraulic downforce on the pavement. This activity pops up and removes packed snow/ice accumulation. Scraping activity can push larger ice and snow chunks onto driveway aprons. If the chunks are very large, DPW will move them with a tractor. Otherwise it is the resident’s responsibility to clear the end of their driveway if they wish to keep it clear.
The City of Green Bay does not apply salt to residential streets. Snow/ice pack either melts or is scraped off when enough accumulates. However, there are periods during the winter that are too cold to allow snow/ice to be scraped off the pavement easily. Removing snow/ice pack during these periods is not effective due to the high bond between ice and pavement when it is very cold. During these unfavorable scraping conditions, DPW applies sand to residential streets. The sand granules cut into the surface to provide some traction for motorists.
City of Green Bay (and most other cities) ordinance prohibits residents from placing anything in the street other than registered vehicles. DPW plows snow off streets for motorist safety. Nobody likes to move plowed snow off of their driveway or sidewalk. But snow cannot be shoveled or blown back onto the street for any reason. It must be stored on the terrace or in the front yard. If DPW is made aware of snow placed back onto the street, we will 1) plow it back to the side of the street, 2) invoice the property/owner for the service, and 3) issue citations.
This theory is widespread throughout the country. However, there is no scientific evidence to support it. Following are some facts about the use of salt brine that might ease resident concerns:
Salt brine and road salt both corrode exposed metal. But as discussed above, there is no proof that salt brine is any harder on vehicles than road salt.