Recycling plant offering free brush drop-off to storm victims

Cleanup continues in Whitestown following Monday's storms. (WISH photo)

WHITESTOWN, Ind. (WISH) – When you’ve got a huge mess on your hands, even a little help goes a long way.

For the second time Wednesday, David Smith and his neighbor Russ dropped off a trailer full of brush to Greencycle in Whitestown. “I couldn’t ask for a better neighbor,” said Smith. The duo dropped off two loads the day before after a tornado destroyed two trees on Smith’s property Monday.

“It just missed my house by 10 foot or it have been gone, so I was lucky,” he said. “Very lucky.” Stories like his are piling up at the recycling center. Staff said they’ve seen a 50% increase in trees trunks and branches getting dropped compared to an average day thanks to Monday’s storm.

“Tomorrow we’re really going to see a huge influx of brush coming in,” said John Repenning, GreenCycle Vice President. He also lives in this community and knows the tough hand people have been dealt.

“I’ve personally seen it in my front yard and all my neighbors,” he said of the damage. “I only have four to five trees but my neighbor has a brand new porch that was just finished in March and a sycamore fell right down the middle of it.”

That’s why his facility is making a temporary change. Normally if you drop off material bigger than two feet in diameter, like a tree trunk, there’s a charge. But Repenning said his location is waiving the fee since so many people now have broken and snapped trees in their yards.

“We want to make it as easy as possible for the homeowner to find us and bring the material and just dump it and be done,” he said. “We’re part of the community and we want to help out.”

It’s a thoughtful act that’s helping lighten the load (nats) on Smith’s shoulders.

“I think it’s awesome,” Smith said.

The brush will be shredded into mulch or turned into compost.

Greencycle has four locations in Central Indiana, but only the plants in Whitestown and Noblesville are currently offering free drop-off. Repenning said since the offer has been so successful, it’s possible they’ll do it again in the future if there’s another damage-causing storm.

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