Government Public Works Reader Contributed

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)

Collection begins the week of Oct. 20, 2014.

Submitted by Town of West Hartford

All leaves must be placed in 30-gallon biodegradable bags. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

All leaves must be placed in 30-gallon biodegradable bags. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

The Town of West Hartford’s leaf bag collection service begins on Monday, Oct. 20, 2014 and will continue for 10 weeks until Dec. 26, 2014.

Only 30-gallon, biodegradable leaf bags will be collected; no plastic bags. Leaf bags should be free of grass, twigs, rocks and trash, and should not weigh more than 60 lbs. There is no limit to the number of bags a resident can place at the curb. Simply place your leaf bags at the curb by 6 a.m. on your trash collection day, or sooner, and a truck will come by to pick them up.  Crews will advance into other collection areas once they have completed their day’s assignment and may pick-up your bags before your trash day.

Leaf bags are commonly found at hardware and grocery stores. For a listing of leaf bag suppliers, go to the Department of Public Works website: www.westhartford.org/publicworks.

Public Works offers a residential leaf voucher disposal program free of charge to eligible residents. The voucher program is available during the leaf collection season which runs from Oct. 20, 2014, through Dec. 26, 2014. Vouchers allow your contractor to dump leaves, generated from your residential property only, free of charge. Residents may use as many vouchers as needed during the 10-week collection period to dispose of their leaves. The leaf voucher guidelines and documents are found on the Public Works website, www.westhartford.org/publicworks.

There are other options to bagging leaves. Consider mulching your leaves with your mower. Make a couple of passes over your lawn until leaves are ground down into a fine leaf mulch. The end product is a good source of nitrogen for spring growth. Leaf compost also enriches the soil in gardens and flower beds.

If you don’t want to wait for the weekly pick up, residents may bring their bagged leaves to the Recycling Center at 25 Brixton St. and dispose of them there. Leaves in plastic bags will need to be emptied in the appropriate area. The Recycling Center is open Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., and on Saturday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.  An annual fee base permit is required and may be obtained from the Department of Public Works.

Please note that 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.

In 2009, the Town of West Hartford went to a leaf bag collection program. Since then, the Town has saved annually about $800,000 in expenses that were incurred with the leaf vacuum program.

In addition, there are many other benefits to the residents and the Town. First, West Hartford residents can rake and bag at their own pace. Residents will never have to worry about missing their opportunity for leaf pick-up because the service extends the entire leaf season. Weather is also no longer an issue with a leaf bag collection. Bags can get collected in rain or snow. 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.

For more information on the 2014 Leaf Collection program, call the Department of Public Works at 860-561-8100 or visit www.westhartford.org/publicworks. You may also call the Leaf Collection hotline at 860-561-7954 for daily updates or turn on West Hartford Community Television, Comcast channel 5 or go to their website www.whctv.org.

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