As chairman of the Public Works Committee for the past two years, I have worked with the mayor and my council colleagues to improve the conservation center by reducing fees for residents, expanding free services and identifying new revenue streams.

The Westfield Conservation Center is a town-owned facility on Lamberts Mill Road that allows residents to dispose of organic waste, such as grass clippings, garden refuse and brush, with the purchase of an annual permit. Under my leadership as chairman of the Public Works Committee, the annual permit fee was lowered by nearly 30 percent this year from $70 to $50.   

There are a number of services at the conservation center that are available FREE to ALL residents and do not require a permit.  Mulch, wood chips and firewood are all available for free and the program has proven to be extremely popular with residents.  Approximately 50 cords of firewood have been split to date. 

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Household material recycling opportunities have been expanded beyond paper products, glass bottles and plastic containers to include electronic waste, textiles, and metals.  These additions have provided a convenient way to dispose of computers, monitors, televisions, wire hangers and more.  Textile recycling has provided an opportunity to repurpose even heavily worn clothes and keep them out of the landfills.

The mayor and council have been diligent in identifying new revenue streams at the conservation center.  We now allow landscape contractors to dispose of leaves for a fee and we also allow them to purchase mulch, wood chips, logs, and firewood.

The 2017 Leaf Collection program will begin on or about Oct. 23, 2017.  An informational flyer was delivered to homes this week and it outlines the options for disposing of leaves. In addition to curbside pickup, residents will be able to dispose of leaves free-of-charge at the conservation center from Oct, 23, 2017 through Dec. 15, 2017.

The conservation center is a valuable resource that I encourage all residents to use.  If you have any questions about the conservation center or our leaf collection program, please email me at doliveira@westfieldnj.gov.