Solon’s Service Department on Cochran Road officially re-opened last week to the public, with some modifications in place in light of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Service Director Mark Hawley said Monday that the services provided since before the pandemic, including the drop off of items to the service garage, have re-started.

“I really want to credit this department,” Mr. Hawley said of the service crew’s 70 employees. “They have stepped up and provided services through the whole pandemic.

“We continue to provide those services, and could not do it without everyone at this department,” he added.

Beginning last week was the restart of the daily drop of any items left over at residences that the department normally picks up. That includes household hazardous waste and extra rubbish or recycling. Those items can be dropped off Monday through Friday 7:30-11 a.m. and noon to 3 p.m. Saturday hours from 7:30 a.m. until noon has also been added through Sept. 26 in order to prepare for leaf pick up throughout the city.

Mr. Hawley said the department is also open during those same hours for the residential self-load of mulching compost, which is a free service.

On Monday, Wednesday and Friday during regular hours is also when the department will load mulch in bulk, at a cost of $10 a yard.

The Service Department will also follow suit with the rest of the city buildings with signs posted at the entrance, which includes at the garage masks worn in the dispatch area and the permission of only one resident at a time inside.

“We are steadily seeing an increase [in residents] since re-opening,” Mr. Hawley said. “This means they are out and about and bringing items to us, almost as to how we were before COVID-19.”

Mr. Hawley said he wants to stress to residents the Saturday drop off as a way to provide a service for those who work during the week and also to rid the tree lawns of extra loose materials.

For more information, residents can call the service garage at 440-248-5834.

Department staff also continues social distancing protocol as well as hand washing and sanitation and disinfecting of trucks and equipment. Masks and face coverings of employees is also in place, Mr. Hawley said.

Later this month, on July 20, the department will offer a shred event for residents in light of the cancellation earlier this year of an Earth Day event. From noon to 5, residents can bring items to the Portz Parkway parking lot near the Community Park for safe shredding, a popular offering in the community, Mr. Hawley said.

Overall, given the nature of the service crews’ jobs, they are outside and therefore it is a much safer environment in light of the pandemic.

For the last decade, Sue Reid has covered the government, business climate and residents of Solon. A Times reporter for 22 years, Ms. Reid has earned commendations from the Ohio Newspaper Association and Cleveland Press Association.

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