croton blog for croton-on-hudson new york

Here We Go Again...

January 8, 2008


Have you ever wondered what happens to those leaves you so laboriously rake up and carefully bag and seal for collection by the village of Croton-on-Hudson?

Crotonblog has wondered about their fate, too. Are they trucked to Peekskill to be fed into the hungry may of the giant incinerator there? Do they go to an elaborate county-run composting operation? Or does the village sell them to some gardening enterprise as mulch? Nah, none of the above.

The truth is they never leave Croton. This village is so wedded to these precious leaves, Croton’s own, that it won’t let go of them. Instead of disposing of them, it keeps them in a place where everybody can look at them and admire them. We say, “admire them” advisedly. One would have to be a leaf lover of the highest order to appreciate what the village of Croton-on-Hudson does with its leaves.

Croton seems to regard its leaves almost reverentially. Like some primitive tribe in New Guinea worshiping at pyramids of bleached enemy skulls, it has placed its leaves in two towering mounds so everyone can worship them. These are centrally located and prominently displayed where they can be seen and appreciated by all.


Croton-on-Hudson apparently takes its title as Tree City U.S.A. so much to heart that Croton’s Department of Public Works, in its infinite wisdom, has erected two giant conical piles at the site of the former skate park of bitter memory. One might be tempted to look on these gigantic piles of wet leaves reverentially if that same department had not scattered around the site a number of ugly machines, seasonally rendered useless by the turning of the planet.


Croton officials, of course, will maintain that these gigantic piles are being composted. Any home gardener knows that compost must be turned regularly and aerated. Crotonblog has seen no evidence that these piles are receiving any attention. For the benefit of residents and public officials, Crotonblog reproduces below pertinent portions of the village code prohibiting what is being done.


It is the purpose of this chapter to promote the health, comfort and convenience and general welfare of all residents of the community, to safeguard village employees from hazards in the course of their assigned duties and to protect and preserve the rights of the Village of Croton-on-Hudson and its inhabitants by regulating the methods and procedures of collecting and disposing of garbage and rubbish.

§ 135-3. Definitions.

RUBBISH — Inorganic wastes such as glass, porcelain crockery, metals, tin cans or other similar noncombustible matter, and shall also include grass clippings, leaves, tree trimmings, bushes, branches, Christmas trees and similar waste materials and equipment or furniture.

§ 135-12. Dumping and littering.

It shall be unlawful for any person, firm or corporation within the village to permit the accumulation or scattering of any kind of rubbish, debris, garbage or waste material of any sort on or about any lawn, vacant lot, alley or backyard or in any building, structure, culvert or stream in the Village of Croton-on-Hudson; or place, leave, throw or deposit or cause to be placed, left, thrown or deposited any refuse, wrappers, papers, waste, debris, rubbish or garbage at, in or upon any street, sidewalk, park, pond, culvert, stream, public lands, lawn, backyard or vacant property in the village.

§ 135-14. Enforcement.

It shall be the responsibility of the Village Manager or his or her authorized representatives to enforce the provisions of this chapter.

Let any private citizen do what the village of Croton-on-Hudson has done, and this village would come down on them like a ton of bricks. Under the circumstances, Crotonblog is compelled to ask, “Is this another example of “Do as we say, not do as we do.”? Just askin’…


On January 10, 2008 6:17 PM, crotonres said:

Speaking of Gateway items. Can we get rid of the Croton Dam construction detour sign the sits at the entrance to CVS. The road over the dam has been closed for more than 4 years it should be known by now. If a sign is needed then can we get a real sign made.

On January 9, 2008 9:44 PM, ohio-to-hudson said:

Oh, it seems to me that the Rec. Department and Public Works could collaborate on this one, and create an official “Leaf Jumping Park,” complete with paid supervision and the requirement of a village I.D.. Children would adore this because their parents are now so quick to remove piles of leaves in their own back yards. Waivers would have to be signed that the village cannot be held responsible for objects concealed under the leaves, or mold alergens, and that all jumpers would be jumping at their own risk. Jumpers would then proceed to jump in an agreed upon rhythm, preferably in a clockwise direction, in shifts, according to age and weight.

On January 9, 2008 11:31 AM, TeaDrinker said:

Leave it to Croton’s management to turn a natural resource like biodegradable leaves into a glaring eyesore. This village seems determined to make itself look down at the heels in everything it does. Ever since the mismanaged white elephant that was the skate park was dismantled, this site has been treated like a poor relation. It has become a sort of Grandma’s attic—a repository of unsightly junkyard items Croton’s management doesn’t have the resourcefulness to know what to do with.

There are plenty of locations owned by the village of Croton-on-Hudson that could have served as repositories for these materials and items of equipment. What makes this egregious decision even more glaring, the place the village has chosen to convert into a dump is squarely in of one of Croton’s famous and sacred “Gateways” that are intended to put Croton’s best foot forward for visitors. No wonder business activity in Croton is in a downturn if we greet potential customers exiting to Route 129 with a pigsty. Getting rid of those decrepit “el cheapo” trailers would also improve the site’s appearance.

Richard Herbek, the Village Manager who does not live in Croton can return to Briarcliff Manor at the end of each workday, leaving the unsightly former skate park as a visual insult moldering away under to our very noses. For the rest of us, we residents are forced to live with the unattractive results of another of his ill-considered decisions for 24 hours each and every day.

You call these actions judicious village management? For this we pay the Village Manager the princely sum of $176,029 a year plus generous benefits? Maybe requiring high-level, decision-making village employees to live in Croton would end such abuses of delegated authority.

On January 9, 2008 10:49 AM, weewill said:

Be nice Crotonblog … maybe this is their way of “beautifying and cleaning up the entrances to the village” as promised in their campaign literature.

Keep watch for more as this site becomes the DPW staging area for any and all debris from projects as well as storage of equipment.

Nice …. and right at a major entrance to the village!


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