Leaf pickup season starts Monday

·2 min read

Oct. 16—The weather was positively summery last week, with highs in the 80s and lots of bright sunshine. The greens, by and large, have kept their halos of green.

But with the hint of cooler weather creeping in, you can soon expect to see more and more leaves losing their summer green and carpeting the ground. That means city sanitation crews will be out vacuuming up leaf piles across town.

The city's leaf collection season begins Monday, with crews beginning work in Zone 9A, which stretches from Frederica Street to Lewis Lane and between Scherm Road and Tamarack Road. After that, crews will cover the other sections of Zone 9, with are the southwest sections of the city, before moving on to Zone 10.

Sanitation supervisor Caleb Gray said leaf crews will cover all 10 of the city's sanitation zones three times between Monday and January.

"Starting out, there's not a whole lot to collect," Gray said. "We use it to make sure all machines are running properly, and to get the seasonal temps familiar with the operation."

The sanitation department takes on several temporary workers to assist with leaf pickup between October and February.

"It's a training period the first couple of weeks," Gray said.

People can either bag their leaves or rake them into piles to be vacuumed. Bagged leaves can be picked up at curbisde if bags are less than 30 pounds, or they can be dropped off at leaf disposal sites at the Owensboro Sportscenter.

Limb pickup season has ended. Gray said people should not mix limbs in with their leaves because limbs get caught in the machines, causing delays and damage. Machines also are damaged when leaf piles are placed over water meters.

"We don't see them until it's too late," Gray said.

General guidelines for leaf disposal include:

Place leaves curbside, in the yard, not on the sidewalk or in the street.

Do not wet leaves. Frozen leaves may damage vacuum equipment.

Do not place leaves over water meter covers or other obstructions.

Do not mix leaves with other brush, sticks or trash.

Do not block leaf piles with vehicles.

Gray said after crews finish their third pass across all the zones in January, residents can call the sanitation office if their yard has additional leaves that need cleaned up.

"From (mid-January) until February 15, we'll work on an on-call basis," Gray said.

James Mayse, 270-691-7303, jmayse@messenger-inquirer.com, Twitter: @JamesMayse

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