Leaves disappear from streets
JANESVILLE Almost like magic, the giant piles of leaves and other debris mounded along Janesville curbs are starting to disappear.
But it takes a lot more work than the wave of a wand.
City workers have perfected through the years a system of leaf collection that includes giant brooms, garbage trucks, ramps and street sweepers.
The leaf collection has long been provided as a service residents pay for with their tax dollars. Lately, some type of collection has been mandated by the state as a way to minimize storm runoff into waterways.
Residents are asked to rake or blow fallen leaves into the streets and along the curbs. Space should be left between the curbs and the piles so the brooms don't force the leaves back on the terraces.
Workers sweep the leaves into garbage trucks using trucks fitted for snowplows. Instead, of plows, the trucks are fitted with metal cages skirted with bristles. The cages catch leaves from spilling over the top of the broom.
Workers push the leaves up ramps and into garbage trucks.
Within a day or so, street sweepers follow the collection route and mop up.
Collection started the first week in November. Sometimes, most leaves are on the ground by that time, but other times they aren't. Collection is scheduled over two weeks, and maps are posted on the city's website and published in The Gazette.
The city's operations department times the collection to avoid early snowstorms so plows don't push leaves onto the terraces.
One crew begins working the east side and one on the west side.
Garbage trucks take the leaves to the landfill and create compost piles, which are turned over several times. Residents are free to haul away the compost in the summer.
The first day of collection this year, crews took 27 trash trucks loaded with leaves to the landfill.
Crews will collect bagged leaves or debris on trash day the week after Thanksgiving.
Click here to see a map of the city's leaf collection plan or a listing by street of the leaf collection schedule.