Public Works Department crews have started loose-leaf vacuum collection from residential neighborhoods. City residents can rake or blow leaves to the curb or property line for pickup by the vacuum machines through Jan. 31.
Loose leaves are collected on the same day as scheduled refuse and yard waste collection, as the volume of leaves allows.
The department asks residents to assist in the leaf collection by taking the following steps:
- Rake loose leaves in a pile to the curb or in front of the property line. Make sure the leaf pile is within reach of the vacuum machine from the paved roadway (no more than four feet).
- Rake loose leaves any time before your collection day. Do not rake leaves on the scheduled collection day and expect to have them collected that day. The crew may have already passed through the area.
- Do not mix loose leaves with sticks, limbs, brush, bottles, rocks, or other solid objects.
- Park vehicles away from the leaf pile. The city’s vacuum equipment uses truck-and-trailer combinations, requiring ample space to reach the leaf pile.
- Do not block storm gutters or ditches.
- Do not place the leaf pile behind poles, mailboxes, fire hydrants, and guardrails.
- Do not place the leaf pile in ditches below grade level.
- Avoid, if possible, placing loose leaves on top of water meters, gas meters, manholes, or sidewalks.
In addition to raking loose leaves to the curb, residents may bag the leaves. Biodegradable bags are available at no charge from the Public Works Administrative Office at 998 South Boston Road. Bagged leaves should be placed out, no sooner than the evening before your collection day.
Many factors affect the ability of leaf collection crews to stay on a weekly schedule. Those factors include the timing of the first significant frost, duration of leaf fall (gradual or all at once), amount of rainfall during leaf season, early snowfalls, and equipment breakdowns.
If your leaves were missed or you need to know if your area is behind schedule, call the Public Works Department at 799-5245 on Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m.
During peak leaf fall, crews from Street Maintenance, Grounds Maintenance, and the Adult Detention Center are utilized. An average of 2,500 tons of leaves is collected and disposed of at the compost/mulch facility during the leaf collection season.