The trees and branches that came down in the April ice and snow storm in Sioux Falls are being ground up, but the public is being asked to stay away from the grinders.

A company called TFR Enterprises was hired by the city to grind the wood waste debris, and they began their work on Wednesday at the W-H Lyon Fairgrounds.

City Public Works Director Mark Cotter says the contract with TFR contract establishes a schedule for the order in which the wood piles are to be ground and removed from the sites.

The final pass of branch pickup for the neighborhoods east of Minnesota Avenue begins on Monday, May 20,  and Cotter says once the crews pass by a property, the removal of any other branches will be the property owner's responsibility.

The public branch drop-off sites are still open, and as they are closed to allow more efficient grinding operations, Cotter says the public will be notified.

The City is giving away free mulch from the grinding, but the giveaway is going on away from the grinding operations.