Following a major storm, linemen must focus on rebuilding infrastructure and restoring power and be able to access downed lines. In a certain part of Ameren Illinois' service territory, however, there are piles of dumped trash, which can hinder crews during restoration, according to an article on KMOW.
Rick Johnson, vegetation manager for Ameren Illinois, says now is time to attack the issue -- not after the next big storm hits and people are without power.
Ameren Illinois partnered with the village of Washington Park to collect the debris and take it to a landfill. For example, in just one day, work crews picked up 14 dump truck loads of debris ranging from toilets to mattresses to air conditioners, refrigerators and tires.
Johnson says that the effort is getting quite the positive response, even more than they could have expected.
"There were some people who said 'I haven't been able to access my property in decades and now look, you've cleaned up all this junk. Thank you!'," Johnson says. "They're giving water to crews, and they're even out here applauding, I'm told."
Other Metro East communities are learning about this pilot project and inquiring about partnering with Ameren Illinois in the future, says Brian Bretsch, communications executive for Ameren Illinois.