Government Public Works

Leaf Bag Collection Set To Begin in West Hartford

All leaves and other yard waste, other than bundled branches, must be placed in 30-gallon biodegradable bags. Photo credit: Ronni Newton (we-ha.com file photo)

West Hartford’s 10-week leaf collection period begins the week of Oct. 23, 2017.

By Ronni Newton

Autumn is here, the weather has finally cooled down a bit, and although the leaves are not quite as vibrant as they are in most years, they are still changing color and have started falling 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. 23 and continue through Dec. 29, 2017.

Town Manager Matt Hart publicly announced the Department of Public Works’ 10-week leaf collection at last week’s Town Council meeting, urging residents to put their leaves in 30-gallon biodegradable bags – not plastic bags – and place them at the curb. Bags should not be placed in the street, and leaves should not be blown into the street.

Crews will collect leaves bagged in 30-gallon biodegradable paper bags, which can be found for sale at hardware and grocery stores, 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 and should not contain branches, sticks, rocks, dirt, grass, or other debris. Bags that do not comply will be marked as rejected and will not be collected.

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.

In addition, Public Works reminds residents that leaves are a state mandated recycling item and cannot be placed in the refuse barrel. They are not eligible for the town’s single stream recycling and cannot be placed in the blue barrel either. According to the Public Works website, barrels containing leaves will not be collected.

In his report, Hart said that Public Works also recommends that residents continue to mow their lawns on a weekly basis, which mulches the leaves in place and cuts down on the volume that needs to be raked and collected.

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. 23 through Dec. 29, 2017, 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. 

“If you hire a local landscaper to collect your leaves by truck or a vacuum system, please remind them that leaf piles are not allowed in the street because they create serious safety issues for passing motor vehicles, bicyclists, and pedestrians, and cause local street flooding by damming the catch-basin,” Hart noted in his Town Manager’s Report. The leaves should also be kept from blocking the sidewalk.

Residents can also drop off their leaves, in 30-gallon biodegradable bags, at the Yard Waste and Recycling Center at 25 Brixton St. The facility will be open for extended hours on Saturdays, from 8 a.m. through 4 p.m., beginning Oct. 28, 2017, through Dec. 16. The Center is also open Monday through Friday, from 7:30 a.m. through 4 p.m.  From Dec. 23, 2017 through April 7, 2018, the Yard Waste Center will be closed on Saturdays.  

A permit is required for residents to use the Yard Waste and Recycling Center and can be purchased online or at the facility. Click here for more information about purchasing a permit.

For more information on the 2016 Leaf Collection program, call the Department of Public Works at 860-561-8100 or visit the DPW website

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