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Warm weather prompts reminders about seasonal fire hazards

Warm weather prompts reminders about seasonal fire hazards

Warm weather in the 60s arrived this week, and with it, an advisory from fire officials on outdoor fire hazards that accompany the season. 

The Madison Fire Department said ordinances do not permit burning yard waste. A fire within outdoor fireplaces or pits -- with spark arresters in use and fire extinguisher or water source nearby -- are permitted as long as it is attended by a responsible adult. 

The fire department also offered reminders on other seasonal fire hazards:

Crews won’t collect garbage, recycling Monday

Madison Streets Division crews will not be collecting garbage or recycling on Monday in observance of the Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday, according to a release.

Residents who normally have their garbage and recycling collected on Monday will have their material collected on Tuesday, officials said. On Tuesday, crews will collect garbage from residents in both the Monday and Tuesday garbage collection districts.

The Streets Division’s offices and self-help drop off sites will also be closed on Monday, according to the release. The final round of Christmas tree collection will also start back up on Tuesday.

Residents should have their trees, storm-damaged wood debris and garbage and recycling out at the curb for collection by 7 a.m. on Tuesday to ensure collection.

Madison Utilities: Make sure your pipes are protected

Madison Utilities: Make sure your pipes are protected

Madison Water Utility officials are hoping a few quick tips will help residents avoid costly -- and dangerous pipe bursting accidents during the extreme cold.

According to a release, MWU has initiated emergency water shut-offs at six unoccupied homes because of burst pipes. But, officials say there are a few simple steps customers can take.

  • If you have heating tape around pipes, make sure it's plugged in.
  • Double-check that outdoor spigots are off and all hoses are disconnected.
  • Insulate pipes in unheated areas.
  • Leave some heat on in unused areas of the home.
  • Keep the thermostat on at least 55 degrees if you're going out of town
  • If leaving town for extended period of time, have pipes winterized.

According to the release, all family members and household residents should know where the main water shut-off valve in the home is in case of a burst pipe.

City gears up for leaf collection

The City of Madison Streets Division announced it will be prepping crews for clean-up now that leaves are starting to fall in Madison.

According to a release from the division, street crews will be working 10 hours a day starting Nov. 11 and are expected to work weekends if needed. There will be at least 20 crews cleaning streets all over town.

Residents are being asked to rake leaves to the curb as soon as possible so crews can pick them up.

In addition to fall leaves, crews will also be picking up garden waste and pumpkins as a part of the collection service. Mixed piles of brush and leaves will not be collected.

Residents can also bring leaves, brush and garden waste to the city's drop off sites at:

  • 1501 W. Badger Road
  • 4602 Sycamore Ave.
  • 402 South Point Road

Sites are open every day of the week until 4:30 p.m. and until 8 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Sites will be open until Dec. 8.

State offers safety reminders for daylight saving

State offers safety reminders for daylight saving

It's almost time to spring forward, and Wisconsin officials are using the occasion to remind residents about home safety.

Daylight saving time begins Sunday, when Wisconsinites will set the clocks ahead one hour. Safety officials said the event marks a convenient reminder to do annual checks.

For example:

  • Consider replacing the batteries in smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors
  • If you don't have an emergency kit at home, now's the time to get one
  • If you do have an emergency kit, put fresh batteries in the flashlight and make sure the food, water and first-aid kit are all in good condition

The Wisconsin Department of Military Affairs has additional safety tips on its website.

Compost pilot program to expand, turn organic waste into energy

Compost pilot program to expand, turn organic waste into energy

Effort kept 198 tons of garbage from landfill in 2011  

Six-year-old David Lucsay is now an expert at sorting out food waste. Picking up food scraps after dinner, he carries the plate across the kitchen, unlocks an approximately 10 gallon black case, and throws the scraps in.

“One year ago he couldn’t open the case well, but now he can,” said his mother, Amber Lucsay, proud to see his progress. “Now he knows things don’t all go into one bin.”

The city’s organic collection pilot program provided the black case to the Lucsay family, and every day after dinner, they throw away their unwanted leftover vegetables, meat, fish, and so on into this bin, dump it into another big black cart, and leave it to the city for a special, weekly curbside collection.

Sweet potato project shoots out of start gate

Sweet potato project shoots out of start gate

A new project is taking root in Madison.

The Sweet Potato Project provides free sweet potatoes for planting on the condition that growers donate half of the resulting produce to a food pantry. 

Meredith Evans McAllister initiated the Madison Sweet Potato Project in late summer of 2012. Project participants, which include Madison farmers, community gardeners and home-growers, will plant their potatoes this June and donate half of the potatoes they grow to local food pantries in September and early October.

Former Kansas City resident McAllister adopted the project from her hometown and helped establish the Sweet Potato Project in the Madison community. 

“I saw this project and thought this is perfect for Madison,” McAllister said.