City of

District 11

Alder Tim Gruber

Alder Tim Gruber

Alder Tim Gruber

Contact Information

Home Address:

513 N. Owen Drive
Madison , WI 53705

Council Office

Common Council Office:
210 Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd
Room 417
Madison, WI 53703
Phone: (608) 266-4071
Fax: (608) 267-8669
WI Relay Service

Alder Gruber’s Blog

News for You: District 11 January Newsletter

January 2, 2017 12:11 PM

In this Issue: Happy New Year, Slow Down, Walking Audit, Christmas Tree Collection, 2017 Neighborhood Grant Program, Get Salt Wise, Television Recycling Fee Increasing in 2017, A Visit to the Drop-Off Site.


Happy New Year


Happy New Year! Looking back on 2016, I would like to thank all the residents of District 11 who have contacted me. I would also like to thank the dedicated staff of the City of Madison, who have been of great assistance to me and to all of our residents.


I hope you have a great year in 2017.



Slow Down


I received an email from a District 11 resident that I would like to share parts of.


"I am writing today to express concern regarding children walking to school and the excessive traffic speed and volume on Mineral Point Road, Midvale Boulevard, and Segoe Road near three elementary schools and one middle school."


"Imagine your eight or nine-year-old child walking or biking next to cars speeding by at forty miles per hour in order to get to and from school every day. This is what my children do twice a day. I live on Mineral Point Road and experience the fear of one my children or one of their peers getting hit by a speeding car on a daily basis."


"Midvale Elementary School, Van Hise Elementary School, and Hamilton Middle School are close-proximity neighborhood schools to which most children walk to school. Since most children live within walking distance, bussing is not offered by the school district for most children. Twice a day, children are crossing and walking down very busy, high speed streets."


As a parent of 9 and 11 year old children, who attend Lincoln and Cherokee Schools, I am particularly concerned about their safety, and the safety of all our children and all our residents.


As schools reopen on January 4, please remember to slow down in school zones, and drive within the speed limit in all areas.



Walking Audit


In response to comments I have received in regard to the proposal for a hotel on Frey St, I have been walking throughout the Hilldale area and recording conditions for pedestrians, bicyclists, and drivers. I will compile the list of my observations and the observations of others and make recommendations to the staff of Traffic Engineering. If you have any observations on walking in the Hilldale area, please send them to me at



Christmas Tree Collection Begins January 3


Starting Tuesday, January 3rd the Streets Division will begin Christmas tree collection.  As in years past, there will be two rounds of tree collection – if the weather allows.  All residents needing this service should follow the collection rules outlined later in this release. Keep in mind that plowing and other snow and ice control issues take priority over tree collection, and it could cause delays.


The first round of Christmas tree collection will begin on Tuesday, January 3.  Christmas trees placed to the curb by 7am on January 3 in accordance to the rules outlined below will likely be collected prior to January 17, barring any winter weather complications.  Placing your tree to the curb after January 3 could result in your tree not being collected during the first round.


The second round of Christmas tree collection likely will begin on Tuesday, January 17.  Christmas trees placed to the curb by 7am on January 17 will likely be collected prior to February 1, barring any winter weather complications.  


If you place your tree to the curb after 7am on January 17, you may miss your final collection round. Residents electing to have their trees collected at the curb rather than bringing the tree to a drop-off site are strongly encouraged to have their tree curbside prior to January 17.


After the second round of tree collection is complete, crews will transition to other priorities.  Trees set to the curb after the second round of collection occurs in your neighborhood will sit on the curb until crews begin regular brush collection in the spring.  The official start date of regular brush collection will be announced when that date is known.


Wreaths, evergreen rope, garlands, and boughs will not be collected with Christmas trees. These items regularly contain wire that can jam our equipment by becoming entangled inside the chipper. Please place these into your tan refuse cart. 


Plowing and other snow and ice control issues take priority over tree collection, and this may cause delays.


Collection Rules

Trees are processed with expensive wood chippers. These machines can be easily damaged by metal, wire, and other foreign material. To protect this equipment and the safety of our workers we ask that all residents follow these rules.  Failure to follow these rules may result in your tree being left at the curb.

Remove all tree stands regardless of whether they are metal or wood.

Remove all light strings, ornaments and other metal objects.

Remove any tree bags.

Place trees at the street edge only. 

If trees become buried under snow residents are asked to dig out trees.



Drop-Off Sites
Residents and City of Madison taxpayers may also bring your Christmas trees to one of our drop-off sites.  The sites are located at 1501 W. Badger Rd. on the southwest side and 4602 Sycamore Ave. on the east side.


The drop-off sites are open 7:30am to 3:00pm Monday to Friday.  These hours will remain in effect until expanded hours begin at 8:30am on Saturday, March 25.


You can also get information regarding Christmas tree collection by visiting our website,, or by calling the brush collection hotline at 608-267-2088.  



2017 Neighborhood Grant Program


  • Grant applications and guidelines will be available in mid-January on the city's webpage.
  • Optional Orientation Workshop will be held January 18, 2017, City-County Building, 210 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Room 103A from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
  • Grant applications will be due February 27, 2017 at 4:30 p.m.


Contact Linda Horvath, Department of Planning & Community & Economic Development, Planning Division, 608-267-1131, with any questions.



Get Salt Wise


Are You Using Too Much Salt?

You kept the leaves out of the lake, now it is time to keep the salt out!


We all rely on salt to help keep us safe. However, you only need a little. You can help change the amount of salt used on our side walks, parking lots, and streets. The most efficient amount of salt is one coffee mug for 60 feet or 10 sidewalk squares! Any more than that and you unnecessarily harm plants and animals, pollute lakes and groundwater, and damage vehicles, roads and bridges.


This winter, help protect our lakes and groundwater:

Shovel Early: Clear walkways before the snow turns to ice.

Use Less: Use one coffee mug per 10 sidewalk squares.

Switch: Salt Doesn't work under 15 degrees; instead use sand or a low temp ice melter.

Hire contractors that are a trained Salt Wise applicator!

Share: Remind stores & businesses to be Salt Wise.

Be Salt Wise all year: The salt from your water softener ends up in local freshwater streams so switch to new, efficient softeners.


Want more? Learn more on how to be Wisconsin Salt Wise at



Television Recycling Fee Increasing in 2017


The Streets Division would like to remind the residents and taxpayers of the City of Madison that the recycling fee for televisions will increase from $10 apiece to $15 apiece beginning January 1, 2017.


City of Madison residents and taxpayers are still required to bring televisions to one of the Streets Division drop-off sites for the City to recycle it.  Residents are reminded that they should not place televisions at the curb, or into their curbside collection carts.


The drop-off sites are located at 1501 W. Badger Rd. and 4602 Sycamore Ave.  The sites are currently open from 7:30am to 3:00pm Monday to Friday. These hours will remain in effect until the expanded hours begin on March 25, 2017.


The recycling fee is paid by obtaining an appliance sticker in advance of delivering the item to a drop-off site.  Stickers are can be purchased at any city of Madison public library, the Treasurer's Office in the City-County Building, or at either Streets Division office.  The Streets Division offices are open 7:30am to 4:00pm Monday to Friday.  They are located at 1501 W. Badger Rd. and 4602 Sycamore Ave.  Please note that the drop-off sites and the Streets Division offices have different hours.


Stickers can also be purchased online at  Stickers do not print on demand; they will be mailed to you after a successful purchase.


City of Madison residents or taxpayers that have a $10 sticker to recycle a television are encouraged to bring the TV in need of recycling to a drop-off site prior to the end of 2016.  After January 1, 2017, those with a $10 sticker for television recycling will need to obtain an additional $5 appliance sticker in order to meet the new $15 fee.


More and more residents are jettisoning their bulky, antiquated cathode ray televisions (CRTs) in favor of new high definition sets.  In the month of November alone, the Streets Division has recycled over 19 tons of televisions.  Over the course of 2016, we have recycled more tonnage of televisions than all the electronics items recycled in 2015 combined. We anticipate that a high volume of televisions in need of recycling will likely continue for the next five years. Increasing the television recycling fee to $15 will better cover recycling costs.


All other appliance fees for the City of Madison will remain the same at this time. For a complete list of items requiring an additional fee, please visit our website:  


Televisions, and many other electronic items, are banned from the landfill, so everyone must recycle them.  For a complete list of all public and private registered E-Cycle vendors, and the list of electronics banned from landfills, visit the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources website:


For more information, residents can also visit the Streets Division website



A Visit to the Drop-Off Site


`Twas soon after Christmas and the house was a mess

With piles of paper and cardboard up to my chest.

The tree is dried out and the lights barely work.

And the toy batteries died? – Argh! I'm so irked!

I have packages filled with block Styrofoam

And no clue what do with this busted iPhone.

My goodness, oh my! Look at this rigid plastic

A cracked pail, a broke crate – this just makes me sick.

Let's not even talk about the oil from our fryer

The turkey was good, but why did I buy'er?

I could never fit all of this into my carts

And it's just so much stuff it puts an ache in my heart.

But just when I was to fall to despair

With visions of landfills filling the air,

I remembered that – no – I can be better.

I loaded my car and threw on a sweater.

I'm off to the drop-off site to recycle

All of this junk because it's so vital.

The hours are shortened but it's worth my time

For helping the Earth is truly sublime.

I unloaded my stuff into the appropriate spots

I read all the signs and did as I ought.

I sprang back to my car and let out a hoot

Thrilled that I could recycle this loot,

But as I drove home, I rightly proclaimed

That next year my waste will be better constrained.


Apologies to Clement Clarke Moore, the author of the original A Visit from St. Nicholas and all lovers of poetry.


Drop-off Site Information

The Streets Division has two drop-off sites where residents and taxpayers of Madison can recycle wrapping paper, cardboard, holiday lights, molded Styrofoam, electronics (including cell phones), household batteries, rigid plastic, and cooking oil.  People can also drop off this season's Christmas tree along with other brush.


The sites are located at 4602 Sycamore Ave. on the east side and 1501 W. Badger Rd. on the southwest side. 


The sites are open winter hours currently, which is 7:30am to 3:00pm Monday to Friday.  The sites are also closed during holidays.


For more information about the drop off sites, please call 608-246-4532 for Sycamore Ave. and 608-266-4681 for W. Badger Rd.


More information about the drop-off sites and all of our recycling and solid waste service can be found on the Streets Division's website.


Special Note about Wrapping Paper

Wrapping paper can be recycled in the green recycling cart at home.  However, we cannot accept foil wrapping paper.  Residents must remove any ribbons, string, bows, wire, and so on as well.  Those items cannot be recycled in our system, and pose a tangling hazard for the sorting equipment at the recycling center.


Bryan Johnson

City of Madison Streets Division

Recycling Coordinator/Public Information Officer

Office: 608-267-2626; Cell: 608-438-8526

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