The Star-Herald

How to get rid of fallen leaves

It is that time of the year again when the leaves are turning color and finding their way down to the ground.  The good news is that it is a beautiful time of the year. The bad news is that many of us are raking the leaves because there are too many to leave on the lawn.  

You may be wondering about what your options are for disposing of the leaves.  Many residents mix them into the soil in their gardens or compost them. This is a great way to return nutrients to the soil.  If you do not use the leaves for a soil amendment or as compost on your own property, there are other options for disposal.

One option is to haul your own leaves to the Presque Isle Landfill.  There is no fee for disposal of leaves and brush that is smaller than one-half inch in diameter.  The other option is that the Public Works crew will vacuum them at curbside in the compact urban area of the City.   The crew will start vacuuming leaves once the majority of them drop, which should be between mid to late October, with our “new” 2008 Freightliner truck.  This vac truck was built by our own Public Works mechanics by moving the body from the old 1985 International to the new truck.  

There are only three requirements for you to have your leaves vacuumed at your house in the compact urban area.  First, you have to rake the leaves to the curb. If you have a ditch in front of your house, please rake the leaves to the shoulder of the street.  Do not leave your leaves in the ditch because the vacuum hose may not be long enough to reach to the bottom of the ditch.

The second requirement is to not bag the leaves or place them in any kind of container.  Bagged leaves are much more labor intensive and inefficient for the vac truck, so please do not bag them.  If you are concerned about the leaves blowing away, cover them with a tarp that is weighted down at the edges.

The last requirement is not to mix anything else in with the leaves.  Brush, branches, and prunings slow the vacuuming process down and can clog the vacuum, which results in a lot of lost time.  The crew will pick up leaves subject to weather conditions and the availability of public works personnel. Your leaves will be delivered to one of several sites for composting, so they will be put to good use.  

If you have questions regarding leaf vacuuming, please contact the Public Works office at 764-2560.  

Dana H. Fowler, P.E., is public services director for the city of Presque Isle. He can be reached at 760-2707 or via email at

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