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Published: 10/19/2010

Mayor gives residents tips as Sylvania leaf collection branches out

BLADE STAFF

Sylvania's leaf-collection crews made their first pass through the city last week in just two days, but as more of the community's namesake trees drop their foliage, pickup cycles will lengthen, Mayor Craig Stough said.

With 7,700 trees growing just in street rights-of-way, and thousands more in parks and on private property, "leaf collection is a very big job in Sylvania," Mr. Stough wrote in his bi-weekly Mayor's Message to the community. And in Sylvania, the leaf-collection effort is paid for with general-fund dollars, not a special assessment.

Three streets division crews began this year's drive Oct. 12, and as the workload increases, more workers - including temporary employees and regular staff on overtime - will join in, the mayor said. Four crews could be working on Saturdays during November, when pickup volume tends to be heaviest, he said.

In all, six to eight passes through the entire city are anticipated, with all leaf collection is set to end by Dec. 17 if early winter weather doesn't interfere.

Last year, city crews spent 4,402 man-hours loading and hauling 14,560 cubic yards of leaves to the city's composting field on Yankee Road north of town. There, the leaves are recycled into Sylvan-Gro, "a rich compost the city sells by the bushel," Mr. Stough said.

The mayor asked rakers not to push piles too far into the street or to mix leaves with sticks, grass clippings, or other foreign material.

"Every year, I see leaves piled way beyond the curb, causing some streets to become dangerously narrow and sometimes forming dams that block storm drainage and cause flooding," he wrote.

Sticks or nonleaf plant matter, meanwhile, can jam or break the diesel-powered vacuum equipment crews use, Mr. Stough said. Such material should be set out for the city forestry division's Green Recycling program's regular pickup.



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