West Hartford’s 10-week leaf collection period begins the week of Oct. 24, 2016.
By Ronni Newton
The leaves that are painting West Hartford’s landscape in spectacular autumn colors have also started to fall from the trees.
It’s time once again for homeowners to get their rakes ready and stock up on a supply of biodegradable paper bags for the Town of West Hartford’s annual leaf bag collection, which will begin the week of Oct. 24, 2016.
The collection period will run for 10 weeks – weather-permitted – through the end of December. According to the Department of Public Works, since the leaf bag collection program replaced vacuum pick-up in 2009, the town has saved about $800,000 per year.
Crews will collect leaves bagged in 30-gallon biodegradable paper bags placed at the curb, and there is no limit to the number of bags that will be collected from a single property. Bags should not weigh more than 60 pounds. The bags are usually for sale at hardware and grocery stores, and a listing of leaf bag suppliers, is available on the Department of Public Works website.
The collection will take place on your regular trash collection day and bags must be placed at the curb no later 6 a.m. on that day. They can also be placed at the curb because crews sometimes get ahead of schedule and will advance into other areas.
Only properties that receive trash collection through the Town of West Hartford will have their bagged leaves collected.
According to a news release from the Town of West Hartford, the Department of Public Works also offers a residential leaf voucher disposal program free of charge to eligible residents. This allows a contractor hired to remove leaves from an eligible residential property to dump those leaves, free of charge. The voucher program, which is available during the leaf collection season which runs from Oct. 24, through Dec. 30, 2016, can be obtained through the Public Works website. There is no limit on the number of vouchers that can be used during the collection period.
Residents can also drop off their bagged leaves at the Yard Waste and Recycling Center at 25 Brixton St. Leaves in any container other than a bio-degradable bag must be emptied into the appropriate area. The facility will be open for extended hours on Saturdays, from 8 a.m. through 4 p.m., beginning Oct. 29, 2016, through the end of December. The Center is also open Monday through Friday, from 7:30 a.m. through 4 p.m.
A permit is required for residents to use the Yard Waste and Recycling Center. Permits can be purchased online, onsite on Saturday, Oct. 29 from 8 a.m. – 1 p.m., or at the Public Works offices at 17 Brixton St., Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. – 3:45 p.m.
Other options to bagging leaves include mulching them with a lawnmower. Mulched leaves will create a good source of nitrogen that will encourage spring growth and enrich the soil in gardens and flower beds.
The town released the following message about the location of leaves and leaf bags: “Please note leaf bags and leaf piles cannot be placed in the street because they pose a hazard to traffic, clog storm drains and impede snow plowing operations. The Town’s compliance officer routinely monitors collection areas and will issue written warnings and then a fine for each day that the leaves remain in the street.”
The 10-week bagged collection program allows residents to rake and bag at their own pace, and as opposed to the vacuum collection is less dependent on weather. The service extends throughout the fall season, and residents don’t need to worry about missing a pick-up time.
“Equally important, bagged leaves stay put. No more leaf piles in the street causing hazardous driving conditions, narrowing of the roads, and clogging catch basins. Leaves will not blow into your neighbor’s yard or back onto yours. Lastly, from an environmental standpoint, leaf vacuum machines are heavy energy users and polluters. With less of these types of vehicles on the road, we all benefit from cleaner air,” Public Works said in a release.
For more information on the 2016 Leaf Collection program, call the Department of Public Works at 561-8100 or visit www.westhartfordct.gov/publicworks. Daily updates are also available on the Leaf Collection hotline at 860-561-7954 and on West Hartford Community Television, Comcast channel 5 or the website www.whctv.org.
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