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Five facts about leaf collection

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Ann Fiore
October 25, 2007
— Daylight is waning, leaves are falling and you're getting that urge to rake.

Obviously, you've forgotten how bad your back ached last fall.


Before you assemble your yard arsenal, slow down. Mild weather has kept many trees from dropping their leaves, so the city has delayed the start of its annual loose-leaf collection until Monday, Nov. 12.


The same weather warm-up occurred in 2005, and the city got an earful from residents


when it didn't delay the leaf pickup, said John Whitcomb, city operations director.


"We learned a little from that,” he said. "The only risk we take is on the back end of the program when the leaves freeze up. And if there's a plowable snow, that pushes the leaves back on the terrace.” Here are five leaf collection facts from Whitcomb:


1. Yes, you can start raking now. If you're raking into the street, push the leaves away from the gutter so they don't plug the storm sewer. Don't pile them in the middle of the street.


2. Leaf collection runs Monday, Nov. 12, through Monday, Nov. 26, or possibly Tuesday, Nov. 27. Crews won't pick up leaves on Thanksgiving Day—Thursday, Nov. 22—but they might on Saturday, Nov. 24. The city will issue a news release informing residents of that weekend's schedule.


3. Don't worry about leaves the trucks have missed. If they aren't frozen to the street, street sweepers will clean them up.


4. Some people might miss the collection if they're out of town for deer hunting or Thanksgiving. Never fear: The city's compost site will be open extra hours—8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday—from Nov. 5 through the end of the collection. Make friends with your neighbor so you can borrow his truck.


5. If you miss the loose-leaf collection completely, the city will collect bagged yard waste the week of Dec. 3 on your usual trash day. Brown leaf bags are available at most hardware stores. Bundles of limbs can be up to 4 feet long, 12 inches in diameter and 50 pounds.


Note: Yard waste does not include lawn chairs.



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