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Too many leaves, nowhere to put them
James Nolan has a yard full of leaves and nowhere to put them.
Nolan, who has lived in his Fort Richmond home for nearly 30 years, said he usually takes more than 50 bags of leaves to the city’s Leaf it With Us depot at King’s Park each fall.
He was surprised when he recently discovered the service is no longer available. The city has closed its 11 Leaf it With Us drop off sites, and will now collect yard waste as part of its new garbage and recycling collection service.
"It was a surprise. I just assumed although they were changing the garbage and recycling, we’d still be able to dispose of the leaves in the usual way," Nolan said.
Home yard waste will be collected once every two weeks from April until November. The waste must be placed in paper bags supplied by the city, cardboard boxes or reusable containers without lids.
There are two more remaining collections scheduled for before the program ends for the year.
Nolan said the remaining collections will not be enough to accommodate all the leaves in his yard. He said he usually rakes the boulevards around his home, but won’t be able to do so this year because he is struggling to find room for the leaves he has already collected.
"I’m not sure what I’m going to do. Maybe I’ll put them in bags and keep them in the garage, and then in the spring put them out one bag at a time," Nolan said.
Nolan said part of the problem is the yard waste bags provided by the city don’t hold as many leaves as the large plastic bags he usually uses.
"My 50 (plastic) bags will require about 100 to 150 paper bags," Nolan said.
Nolan said he doesn’t think city officials thought out the new process and is hoping they come up with a solution to the problems he and other homeowners are dealing with.
"I’d like to see the leaf (depots) started again until better arrangements have been made to replace it. I think this was done without (consideration)," Nolan said.
"They had to start (the new yard waste collection service) just when the leaves are starting to fall… without giving us time to prepare."
Fort Rouge resident Sara Harrison shares Nolan’s concerns. Harrison said she’s reluctant to rake her yard because she doesn’t think the leaves from it will fit in the two waste bags she was provided by the city.
"I’ll definitely exceed my allotted bags," said Harrison, who was surprised to learn that obtaining additional bags would be so difficult.
"They should’ve started this new system after the fall season, (a time) when everyone is disposing of their yard waste."
A city spokesperson said the Leaf it With Us depots were closed as a result of the introduction of the curbside pickup program and to keep organic material out of landfills.
The spokesperson declined further comment.
Leaves and other yard waste can be dropped off at the Brady Road Landfill, but must be placed in reusable containers, paper yard waste bags, or cardboard boxes. Leaves can be dropped off in plastic bags, however, individuals must empty the yard waste from the plastic bags and take the bags home with them to prevent plastic from contaminating the site. Tipping fees will not be applied for loads containing only yard waste. If loads contain other materials, fees will be applied to the entire load.
Tipping fees for vehicles with loads under a half ton are $11 per load.
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