The days of city trucks hauling away your leaves for free might end in the next few years.
The city hasn’t been able to incorporate leaves into its Julia Street composting operation, said Sid Fredrickson, wastewater superintendent. So, the leaves are stored in large mounds until they decompose; then they’re spread around the 14-acre compost facility.
But “next year, we are going to about be out of room,” Fredrickson said.
There still are plans to try to compost the leaves. Barring that, the city would have to haul the leaves to Kootenai County’s landfill at Fighting Creek.
“It’s going to be a fairly significant expense,” Fredrickson said.
Coeur d’Alene has been picking up leaves from the streets in front of people’s homes for probably 40 years, said Fredrickson, who once ran the Street Department. It’s a service the City Council has wanted to provide.
City street crews pick up leaves that fall on the streets, so it’s not significantly more expensive to collect what residents rake from their yards.
But this service increases the volume of leaves the city deals with by about two-thirds, Fredrickson said. That becomes a significant factor if there isn’t an inexpensive method for disposing of the leaves.
Leaf pickup will continue as usual this year. City crews will begin collecting leaves Nov. 13 and will make only one pass through each neighborhood.
Coeur d’Alene residents are being asked not to put leaves in the streets until Nov. 11 because the leaves can plug catch basins and storm drains. After Nov. 11, leaves and pine needles should be raked into the streets about a foot away from the gutters. Branches, rubble and other refuse should not be included.
Leaf collection will begin south of Sherman Avenue and proceed north. The work should be finished by Nov. 22.
People with questions should call the Coeur d’Alene Street Department at 769-2233.
Waste Management will charge extra for bagged leaves left with garbage cans for curbside pickup. People can haul leaves and pine needles to the landfill at no charge.