MELISSA — Summer often presents a number of weekend opportunities for residents to clean out the attic and garage, ridding themselves of unwanted or unused items, and taking advantage of the free bulk trash pickup service offered by Waste Connections, Melissa’s solid waste collection contractor.

While the garage clean-up may occur on a weekend, the bulk trash pick-up service occurs on Thursdays.

“That four- or five-day gap from the weekend to the Thursday pick-up presents a bit of a storage question for residents,” Melissa Code Compliance Officer Aaron Williams said in a press release. “Our policy on bulk trash is that it should not be placed curbside until 7 p.m. on the evening before the pick-up. That means that the earliest time that bulk items can be placed on the curb is Wednesday evening.”

That policy is designed to address a number of issues. First is aesthetics. City officials said residents in a variety of Melissa neighborhoods have expressed displeasure at seeing bulk waste on the curb well before the pick-up day. Windy or rainy days can make matters worse as some of the material may be dispersed by the inclement weather.

The second reason is perhaps even more critical. Waste material left at the curb for longer than overnight can attract vermin, pests, bugs, mosquitoes, flies and larger animals seeking food or temporary shelter. These feral animals can carry diseases, or leave their own waste behind, causing homeowners to clean up unsanitary piles.

“Homeowners should be mindful of and adhere to the overnight policy, for their own health and the health of the neighborhood children and pets,” Williams said.

There are other elements of the bulk trash pick-up policy that residents should keep in mind. These include:

• No hazardous chemicals like paint, pool chemicals, motor oil, gas, cleaning chemicals will be collected.

• Refrigerators, freezers and air conditioning units must have an inspection tag placed by a certified HVAC technician indicating that all the Freon has been removed properly.

• Limbs must be bundled no more than four feet long, two feet round and about 40 pounds in weight. The bundles should be secured with rope, string, or twine of sufficient strength that the bundle can be lifted without falling apart.

• Grass clippings, leaves, and small bushes should be placed in brown compost bags. Larger items like appliances and furniture will be collected. However, residents with those items should call Waste Connections before the pick-up day to alert them of these items.

“The general rule is that drivers will only collect four yards of bulk material,” Williams said. “That’s about what two men can move in five minutes. Anything beyond that should be saved for the following week, or residents can get a quote from Waste Connections for the cost of collecting it all at once.”

Waste Connections can be reached by calling 469-452-8000 Monday through Friday during regular office hours.