February 27, 2002 11:00 pm

La Grande residents can recycle their yard debris beginning Saturday.

The service will be available for the next nine months.

City Garbage Services yard waste depot on Highway 30 near the animal shelter will be open to accept yard waste Saturdays and Mondays between 9 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.

Materials acceptable include leaves, weeds, grass clippings, pallets, vegetable food waste, brush, branches no greater than 8 feet long and untreated and unpainted lumber.

Unacceptable are such things as dirt, stumps, metal, animal waste, ashes, garbage, plastic, rocks, bricks, concrete, meat, grease and painted or treated wood.

The program was established in July by the city council in an effort to reduce the amount of yard waste being sent to the Fox Hill Landfill, to reduce open burning by residents and to encourage composting.

The program operated four months last year, but during that time 2,045 residents took 551,451 pounds of yard waste to the depot.

To obtain free use of the service, residents must be a City Garbage Service customer. Others can use the service by paying a fee.

From Observer staff reports