Toledo crews to make 2nd pickup

Late leaf fall, slick snow slow sweep

Leaves are piled along the curb in front of some of the homes on Beverly Drive in South Toledo.
Leaves are piled along the curb in front of some of the homes on Beverly Drive in South Toledo.

It’s nearly winter, many trees are bare, and the streets of some neighborhoods — like the Monroe Street-​Douglas Road area — are leaf-free and clean.

But curbsides in others, like the northern section of Secor Road in West Toledo or the Beverly neighborhood in South Toledo, are clogged with piles of soggy or frozen leaves.

Dave Pratt, Toledo’s commissioner of streets, bridges, and harbor, said residents shouldn’t worry. The bulldozers and street-sweepers are coming back.

“We are just starting in ZIP codes 43613 and 43623 — west of Secor and up to city limits from Michigan down to about Laskey Road — for a second pass,” Mr. Pratt said. “For me, this fall has been very difficult. The leaves fell a lot lighter than they usually do for the first pass, so the second pass was a lot heavier than we like it to be.”

The bottom line is the city makes a schedule to collect leaves and hopes the trees and the weather cooperate. The 2013 leaf collection season started Nov. 4.

“The weather gave us a late leaf fall, and to me this is one of the worst snowfall conditions today because it is very light and creating slick conditions,” Mr. Pratt said Monday. “I have half our crews out doing ice and snow control and half doing leaves.”

That slowed the city crews down from getting all the leaves collected, he said.

Heather Roberts, who lives on the 3700 block of Beverly Drive in South Toledo, said city workers came early and cleaned the streets before many of the leaves fell.

She and her neighbors piled another mound of leaves just over the curb in the street that now awaits the city’s collection.

“We are just waiting for the second pass,” Ms. Roberts said. “A lot of our backyards are covered with trees.”

The city has yet to complete a planned second pass in ZIP codes 43623, 43615, 43614, and 43606.

Toledo collects about 90,000 cubic yards of compacted leaves — enough to fill about 6,000 dump trucks — that will be composted and turned into topsoil.

In June, a divided city council voted 8-4 to spend $347,000 on a compost turner. The city had a contract with Clean Wood Recycling Inc. of Toledo, which it canceled in favor of starting its own composting operation.

The topsoil produced would be used for city projects and not sold to the public. Director of Public Service Ed Moore said the plan would save the city $1 million over the next three years.

Contact Ignazio Messina at: or 419-724-6171 or on Twitter @IgnazioMessina.