El Campo residents struggling to adapt to trash service changes need to learn the rules, council said Monday, especially when it comes to brush.

Cutting limbs to no longer than four feet and tying bundles isn’t an option, and that’s not going to change.

“They need to take the tags off their trash can and read them,” District 2 Councilwoman Gloria Harris said.

Brush is lingering on roadsides, some leftover from the departure of Waste Connections at the end of September. More is a result of late summer tree trimming, Mayor Chris Barbee said.

Picking up the jumbled, piled limbs is not in the TDS contract.

“Everyone expects it, but it’s not,” At-large Councilman Philip Miller said. “It’s something we have to decide ... and it’s not going to be pretty.”

The TDS contract is very specific on what’s collected and what’s not. Residents are allowed three-cubic yards of brush or bagged leaves curbside per month.

Trash officials at Monday’s council session likened that to 21 bags of leaves.

Residents must call TDS customer service at 1-844-873-7734 to schedule collection. Brush pickup takes place on Thursdays and Fridays.

More, the equivalent of a standard size pickup truck bed loaded to cab height, is allowed at the Citizen’s Collection Station.

TDS officials were unclear if multiple loads were allowed per month or if there would be additional charges.

District 2 Councilwoman Anisa Vasquez requested council review the garbage situation at the Monday meeting, urging her fellow council members to make sure the public was well aware of issues.

“There have been a lot of concerns and complaints,” Vasquez said.

Unlike Waste Connections, which used a large mechanical claw to grab brush, TDS employees gather limbs by hand.

Residents having trees trimmed should have the company remove limbs and not place them by the curb.

“We’ve got to educate our citizens, be talking to them about keeping their property clear. The company (TDS) is not just automatically going to pick it up.”

Should a major storm like a hurricane cause damage throughout the city, a disaster debris removal contract would be enacted.

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