When strong summer storms hit like the ones Streamwood has experienced this summer, our parks’ trees, branches and other brush are usually the unfortunate casualties and clean-up can be a long, arduous and expensive process. Now the Streamwood Park District has a new weapon to aid in clean-up in the form of a brand-new Vermeer BC1500 Brush Chipper which arrived last week after the Park District Board of Commissioners approved its purchase at the July 26 board meeting. The total cost of the new chipper purchased through Sourcewell Joint Purchasing Program was $60,000 delivered. “We’re excited to have this new resource for our parks team to make quick work of tree and branch clean-up,” said Executive Director Jeff Janda. Prior to the purchase of the chipper, the park district would contract dumpsters to deposit tree and brush branches with an estimated minimum reported cost of $1,000 per month. Staff loaded the landscape related items in park trucks, then transported and transferred the materials into the dumpsters and attempted to compress the debris to maximize the loads. This process was very labor intensive. The new chipper will now be able to be towed to locations as needed, where the debris is chipped into the back of a collection box on the dump truck. Additionally, the Park District will now be able to make its own mulch from the brush debris for usage at parks and other facilities. “This will reduce the costs of dumpster rental, truck use, labor as well as mulch acquisition costs while improving safety,” said Janda. “It will also reduce the cost of contracted tree services.” Janda said the return on this investment could be realized in as little as 5 years with the unit’s overall expected useful service span expected to be around 20 years.