Trees shed leaves early, slows annual city-wide collection

Piles of leaves and yard waste on a curb in Green Bay (WBAY photo)
Piles of leaves and yard waste on a curb in Green Bay (WBAY photo)(WBAY)
Published: Oct. 30, 2018 at 5:25 PM CDT
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Trees continue to lose their leaves, falling to blanket yards and roadways. The City of Green Bay Department of Public Works is picking up that yard waste right now and is finding it to be quite the task this season.

In the fall, Maureen Trafford-Braun puts on her leaf blower to help her neighbors and family members clean leaves out of their yards.

“Usually around this time it's always like that,” said Trafford-Braun. “With trick-or-treating we always walk through the piles on the streets. So, that's why I kind of wanted to get it cleaned up.”

She piles the leaves on the curb for collection by Public Works.

“We generally try to follow the trash or recycling collection routes, but we're not day for day pacing those routes,” said Steve Grenier, director of the Department of Public Works. “It all depends on how much material is out for collection at this time.”

Right now, Grenier says there are more leaves already on the ground than usual.

“With the cold, with some rainfall events, with some wind, we're getting a lot of those easier leaves to come down at an earlier time which is definitely helping us,” he said.

The extra leaves may slow down collection, but Grenier says no house in Green Bay will be missed.

Green Bay Public Works is asking homeowners not to park any vehicles in front of the leaf piles. The equipment used in the annual leaf and yard waste collection cannot reach behind vehicles and therefore are left untouched by crews.

“I get a lot of phone calls from people saying, 'Steve, they came down the street and picked up everybody's pile but mine,'” said Grenier. “Then we get into an investigation as to why, and there was a car parked in front of the pile.”

It is also important for homeowners to pile the leaves and yard waste on their curbs and not running into the streets. The purpose of the city-wide collection is to keep pollutants out of the storm water system. Grenier says rain washes items in the street down the drains and defeats the intent of the program.

“We haven't in the past, but there's a good possibility moving forward--starting with the spring collection--if material is not properly placed out for collection, you could be receiving a charge for that,” said Grenier.

The annual leaf and yard waste collection will continue through the week of November 11. Grenier asks that all material needing to be picked up be placed in the proper areas by the beginning of that week.

Public Works collection guidelines ask homeowners to be conscious of mixing items. Leaves and other garden-type waste is able to be mixed together; however, sticks and brush must be placed in separate piles.