Pickerington Times-Sun

Leaf collection now under way in Pickerington

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If Pickerington residents haven't done so already, the time to get their leaves raked and to the curb is fast approaching.

"Leaf collection has gotten off to a fast pace this year, it seems with all the wind and rain, they fell all at once," said Ed Drobina, service department manager for the city of Pickerington.

Drobina said the city has two leaf vacuums and two trucks equipped with a leaf box working the streets.

"We run three employees on each truck," he said.

While the final tally for this year's leaf collection statistics remains inconclusive, Drobina said "last year we collected 110 dump truck loads."

Drobina said there is no specific dollar amount budgeted for leaf pickup.

"We do not have a line item in the budget for leaf pickup," he said.

"It is just part of the service we provide for our residents and (we) incorporate it into the employees normal work schedule," he said.

Drobina said residents should make sure "to rake leaves to the tree (curb) lawn, not into the street," which ensures that catch basins or storm sewer inlets are not obstructed.

He also said residents should not put brush or other debris in with their leaves.

Drobina said the city adheres to a pick-up schedule, but will double back if it has to.

"We have a schedule, but we go back through each area more than once," he said.

"Residents may also call the office and give us their address, if they feel they missed our scheduled pickup time.

"Calling the office does not get their leaves picked up any sooner than anyone else, it just gives us an idea where leaves are piled along the streets," Drobina said.

He said the city does not process the leaves, but instead hauls them to nurseries or private gardens where they are used for compost.

Mark Sermon, owner of Millstream Nursery at 12870 Saylor Road in Baltimore, said his business is one recipient of Pickerington leaves.

"We take them here," said Sermon, adding that it is a win-win situation in that Pickerington doesn't "have to pay to dump the leaves" and he gets to use them for compost product for his nursery, free of charge.

"Composting involves turning the leaves, working the air in them, flipping over the piles, and in about a year we've got pretty good compost. We also screen and pulverize topsoil, so we use it to mix it in the soil a little bit," Sermon said.

He said Millstream Nursery takes about "20 to 30 loads" of Pickerington leaves a year.

City crews will be out in full force vacuuming up leaf piles in the next five weeks.

The city has scheduled, with the beginning date of each week, the following remaining areas and subdivisions for leaf pickup:

Nov. 5 -- Melrose, Pickerington Meadows,Cherry Hill, Colony Park, Manor House, East Street, Lakeview, Homestead Drive.

Nov. 12 -- Stonebridge, Pickerington Run, Root Addition, Refugee Road, Hill Road North, Meadowbrook, Pickerington Hills.

Nov. 19 -- Fox Glen East and West,Preston Trails, Manchester, Sheffield, Longview Acres East and West, Georges Creek, Villages of Sycamore Creek, Melrose.

Nov. 26 -- Lockville Road, Homestead Drive, East Street, Lakeview, Center Street, Hill Road South, Colony Park, Shadow Oaks, Downtown area, Manor House.

Dec. 3 -- Spring Creek, Carpenter and Root.

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