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Autumn means falling leaves — and the annual city leaf collection

The City of Oak Ridge fall leaf collection schedule has been released and is on the City website. Leaf collection is scheduled to start on November 24th in the Scarboro neighborhood, and if all goes well it will finish up on New Year’s Eve (December 31) in Country Club Estates, the Oklahoma Ave-Westover Drive area, Southwood, and Rarity Ridge.

Picking up the fallen leaves is always a logistical challenge.  I’m pleased that the beginning of the collection has been delayed compared with some years past, so that it will not start until after most of the leaves are likely to be off the trees. I’m even more pleased that City staff and the City’s contractor (Waste Connections of Tennessee) put their heads together earlier this week to find ways to accelerate the schedule to try to get the job finished by the end of December, at no additional cost to the City. (Earlier this week the schedule showed that leaf collection would continue until January 9, 2008, and I asked what it would cost to get the leaves up more quickly in future years.  To my surprise, a faster schedule was developed for this year. With luck, maybe all the leaves will be picked up before our first snow.)

There are a few important reminders included in the official announcement, including:

*Place leaves near, but not beyond the curb. Leaves are not to be placed in the street due to possible clogging of storm drains and posing a traffic hazard. Hazards so created will be removed by the City at the resident’s expense.

*Leaves should be free of tree branches and twigs as these can cause the leaf vacuums to clog up. Leaf piles found to contain these items will not be picked up.

*All leaves must be placed outside fenced areas.

*Leaves in plastic bags will also be picked up at the curb during the scheduled program.

*The city-wide household trash and brush pickup will be scheduled in April or May of next year. Only leaves will be collected during the fall program.

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