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FAQ Department of Public Works

Solid Waste

Where can I safely dispose of unused or unwanted chemicals, paints, or other household hazardous wastes?

There are many household products used around your home. Many products can be extremely poisonous for small children and pets. You can safely dispose of your household hazardous wastes at Washtenaw County’s permanent drop-off site. The Washtenaw County Home Toxics Reduction Center is located at the Western County Service Center, at 705 N. Zeeb Road (just north of exit 169 on I-94). The Center is a white shed surrounded by a green chain link fence, on the south side of the parking lot behind the Service Center building. The Center is open every Saturday from 9am-Noon (excluding holidays) from the first weekend in April to the first weekend in December. Between the first weekend of December to the first weekend of April, it is open by appointment only (call 222-6865 to schedule).

If you have questions about the program, visit the Washtenaw County website or call the Home Toxics information line at (734) 222-3950.

How do I dispose of old appliances?

You may contact Waste Management 1-800-796-9696 to request a special pick up. There is a charge of $10 for each freon free appliance and a $35 fee for each appliance with freon.

Appliances and furniture in good condition can often be donated to area shelters, churches and community groups.

I am doing a small remodeling job at my home. How do I dispose of the demolition material?

Small quantities (one cubic yard maxium) of demolition material can be collected as a special pickup by calling Waste Management at 1-800-796-9696 to arrange for payment and collection schedule.

*Appliances and furniture in good condition can often be donated to area shelters, churches and community groups.

Go to http://recycle.ewashtenaw.org, click on ‘Residential Recycling,’ then ‘Turning Trash into Treasure’ for more information on where various items can be recycled or reused.

How do I get rid of brush and yard waste?

Michigan law prohibits yard waste from being placed into landfills. All yard waste will be collected in separate vehicles and taken to a compost center for processing. Yard waste will be collected from the first week of April through the last week of November, on the same day as your refuse collection. Grass clippings, leaves and garden waste can be placed together in one of the containers listed below. Please place yard waste 4 feet from trash and recyclables.

  • Limit of six (6) bags, cans, or bundles of yard waste per week (except during fall leaf collection).
  • 30-gallon size or smaller refuse containers identified with a special “Yard Waste” sticker. Stickers are available from City Hall, DPW or Waste Management. Please have sticker face the street. If you have questions or need more yard waste stickers please contact us.
  • Bundled brush, not over 4 feet in length or 60 pounds in weight.
  • Loose material will not be collected.

Yard waste DOES NOT Include: Sod, pet waste, branches over 4 inches in diameter, tree stumps, logs, wood, dirt, rocks, and trash.


How can I dispose of leaves that drop in the fall?

The City of Saline's loose leaf (non-bagged) curbside collection program has tentatively been scheduled for October through November. Leaves are scheduled to be collected as workloads and weather permits, at the curb for residents living north of Michigan Avenue on Mondays and Tuesdays, and residents living south of Michigan Avenue on Thursdays and Fridays. Wednesday is used as a catch up day or early collection day, depending on the amount of leaves ready for collection. In preparing loose leaves for collection, rake fallen leaves into the street, providing it does not impede traffic, leaving a one foot space between the curb and leaves for storm water to run into the gutter, before 7:30 A.M. on Mondays or Thursdays according to your scheduled days of collection. Newer subdivisions with smaller trees may not be collected weekly, however, Waste Management will collect bagged leaves weekly. Do not rake leaves over catch basin grates and we ask that you keep nearby catch basin grates free of leaves to help reduce street flooding during rainstorms and help protect the environment. Do not park your car over piles of leaves in order to avoid potential fires.

If there are leaves to be collected, please plan to move your vehicle from the street on your scheduled leaf collection days. The street leaves are loaded into trucks and delivered to nearby fields for composting.

Leaves are also picked up with your normal weekly curbside yard waste collection program. Leaves and yard waste cannot be mixed with refuse and/or recyclables. Leaves must be bagged in brown craft paper bags (plastic bags are not accepted) or placed in reusable containers identified with yard waste stickers (stickers must face the street) and placed 5 feet from your refuse and recyclables. The weekly curbside yard waste collection program will continue through the last day in November and will resume on the first day in April.

If you use decorative plastic pumpkin bags, you must empty the leaves into the street or place the leaves out, properly prepared, with your weekly curbside yard waste collection program. The bag can be saved for next year's use or discarded with your weekly refuse.

Rake No More!

Mulching lawn mowers are designed to handle fallen leaves and avoid raking entirely. Mulching mowers will mince leaves and sift the pieces back into the the lawn where they will quickly decompose and nourish the soil. Mulching leaves may require more frequent mowing and a thick layer of leaves may require mowing twice but still saves time over raking and bagging materials for collection.

Sidewalks

Do I have to remove snow from my sidewalk?

Yes. In order to reduce the likelihood of injuries to pedestrians, the City of Saline revised sidewalk snow removal regulations in 2015.

The ordinance requires people in charge or control of any building(s) or lot(s) which fronts a paved sidewalk to remove any ice or snow from the sidewalk to form an open path of at least 42” in width.

In zoning districts, snow or ice must be removed within twenty-four hours (24) hours after the snow or accumulations ends. Subsequent drifting of snow on sidewalks must also be removed.

The ordinance also provides that if the snow or ice cannot be removed without the possibility of causing damage to the sidewalk, sand or other abrasives must be used until the weather permits removal without the likelihood of damage to sidewalk.

People who fail to comply with the ordinance will be issued a Civil Infraction Violation. Civil Infraction Violation fines are $25 for the first offense, $50 for a second repeat offense within one year, and $100 for a third and each subsequent repeat offense within one year. In addition, the City may clear sidewalks, and the property owner will be charged for the work performed. We encourage all property owners to maintain their sidewalks, as the minimum fee for the City to remove the snow is $75 per visit and $30 per visit to treat ice. Costs to clear your sidewalk are in addition to the civil infraction violation fine.

Vacations, business trips, and other obligations that require you to be away from your home does not exempt you from sidewalk snow removal. To avoid civil fines and removal costs, property owners should make arrangements to have their sidewalks cleared when away from the home for more than a day.

Senior Citizens: If you need assistance with snow removal and/or need a contractor to remove snow, contact the Saline Area Senior Center at 429-9247 for a list of possible volunteers or contractors who will remove sidewalk snow for a fee.

Driveway Snow

Why does the City plow snow into my driveway?
City snowplows plow the snow from the roadway to the side of the road. Our snowplows generally make at least two passes through each street. The first pass is typically during the storm or soon after the storm has passed. The second and/or subsequent passes is done to move the snow from the roadway or as close to the curb as possible to improve travel, provide for parking, and allow roadway runoff from snow melting and rain to reach the catch basins to prevent street flooding. The second and subsequent passes are typically completed several hours after the first pass of snowplows. This means that your drive approach will have at least two occasions where City plows will leave snow from the roadway in your drive approach. Immediately after the City snowplows deposit the snow in your drive approach is the best time and easiest time to remove it. Do not plow, shovel, or blow the snow back into the street.

As you clear your driveway and approach, pile the snow on the grassed area of your yard. This will keep snow from obstructing the roadway, and will also minimize the amount of snow pushed back into your driveway by snowplows. Residents should also make certain that their trash and recycling containers are placed off the edge of the road but close enough for the garbage collector to pick up the containers from the street without having to walk or climb through snow banks.
We would like to remind property owners and private snow removal contractors that State Law (Act 82 of 1978, vehicle code 257.677A) prohibits the plowing or shoveling or blowing of snow, ice or slush onto or across roadways or highways, as it can present a serious traffic hazard and fines and costs for court conviction could be up to $500. In addition, snow must not be piled in such a way as to obstruct motorists’ vision.

Water & Sewer

Why do we experience rusty water and what can be done to alleviate the problem?

Discolored water is often caused by a disruption in the water system which can occur from flushing hydrants, fires, repairs to the system, and changes in the direction of water flow through the underground pipes, to name a few.

If you detect red or orange colored water, you will need to flush your water lines. This can be accomplished by running your cold water until the water becomes clear. Avoid using hot water until the cold water is clear, or the discolored water will enter your hot water tank.

Who is responsible for water leaks in my house?

The property owner is responsible for all plumbing pipes and valves from your service lines and connection to the City's water main with the exception of the water meter. The water meter and about 3 1/2" on each side of the meter is the City's responsibility. It is recommended that you exercise your water valves on occasion to keep them in working order in case you need to turn off the water in an emergency.

What do I do if I see water bubbling up out of the ground?

Call the Department of Public Works at (734) 429-5624 or the Saline Police Department at (734) 429-7911. Make sure you talk with someone and not leave a message.

What do I do if water is in my basement or basement drain and is not draining?

Call the DPW at 429-5624 during normal business hours or the Saline Police Department at 429-7911. Make sure you talk with someone. The DPW will inspect the sewer to determine if it's a problem with the main sewer line or a problem with the property owner's sewer line. The DPW will advise if you need to contact a plumbing company to clear or clean your sewer line.

Who is responsible for the sewer line to my house?

The cost of all repairs maintaining and replacements of existing building sewers and their connection to the public sewers is the responsibility of the property owners.

Who do I call when we are moving and need to change the name on the account and billing address?

Call the Department of Public Works at (734) 429-5624. Our hours of operation are 7:30 am - 11:30 am and 12:30 pm - 3:30 pm Monday - Friday. If you don't reach a person, please leave a detailed message on the voice mail.

Who do I call if I have questions regarding my bill?

Call Mickie Jo Bennett at City Hall (734) 429-4907 x 2203.

Steetlights

Who do I call to get a street light repaired?

You can contact the Department of Public Works at (734) 429-5624 to report a street light that needs to be repaired. In order to expedite the reporting, it is important to know the exact location, pole number and whether it is wood or steel.

We rely on the Saline Police Department, citizens, motorists, and employees to report any street light failures.

Miscellaneous

There are paint marks and small flags on my property. What are those for?

When someone plans on digging, planting trees, house additions, utility repairs, installing signs or plan on any type of excavation, they call Miss Dig at 1-800-482-7171 to identifying underground utilities. Miss Dig contacts local utility companies (water, sewer, cable TV, gas, etc.) so they locate and mark their utilities. This allows the person doing the work to dig safely and hopefully avoid accidents, injuries, interruptions of service, and project delays.