The Star-Herald

What to do with all those leaves?

It is getting close to that time of the year when the leaves are turning color and finding their way 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 leaves because there are too many to leave on the lawn.

You may be wondering what your options are for disposing of the leaves. Here are a few.

  1. You can mix them into the soil in your gardens or compost them.  These are both great ways to return nutrients to the soil.
  2. You can haul your leaves to the recycling center or landfill.  There is no fee for disposal of leaves and brush that is smaller than one-half inch in diameter.
  3. You can rake them to the curb and allow our Public Works crew to vacuum them (in the compact urban area of the city).  Our crew will start vacuuming leaves once the majority of them drop, which should be between mid to late October.

If you choose to have our Public Works crew vacuum your leaves, we ask that you do the following.

  1. Rake your 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 them in the ditch as the length of our vacuum hose is limited.
  2. Do not bag your leaves or place them in any kind of container.  This is labor intensive and inefficient for the vacuum truck.  If you are concerned about the leaves blowing away, you can cover them with a tarp that is weighted down at the edges.
  3. Do not mix anything else in with the leaves.  Brush, branches, and prunings slow the process down and can clog the vacuum.

Our crew will pick up leaves subject to weather conditions and the availability of Public Works personnel.  We make a loop around the city, so if you missed us on the first pass we will be back around again.  We will continue our loop until all leaves are picked up or it snows, whichever comes first.  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.

Mike Smith is the Public Works Director for the City of Presque Isle.  He can be reached at 764-2560.

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