Garbage trucks finally will begin retrieving bags and boxes of leaves in the Lake City this week.
And for the next month, Waste Management will haul off the packaged leaves on residents’ regular garbage pickup day. But the leaves must be bagged or boxed.
This is the first year in memory that people have not been able to rake their leaves into the street for city crews to fetch. But composting efforts faltered and leaves will now have to be hauled to the Kootenai County Landfill.
That prompted the City Council to vote to discontinue the practice of having city crews pick up leaves, in order to save money. Instead, Waste Management is transporting the leaves with residential garbage, saving several thousand dollars.
Residents will not pay an additional garbage fee as long as they don’t exceed four bags or boxes of leaves per week.
The issue became contentious during the recent mayor’s race, with challenger Steve Judy criticizing City Hall for the change in policy. Mayor Al Hassell defended the policy as the right way to deal with Coeur d’Alene taxpayer dollars.
Judy eked out a 67-vote victory in the contest.
City Council candidate Manny Olvera, meanwhile, organized volunteers to help senior citizens bag or box their leaves. “I’m doing a time study on how long it takes and how many bags it takes so I can be ready next year,” said Olvera who did not win a council seat.
To date, Olvera and his band of neighborhood volunteers have taken care of a dozen Coeur d’Alene homes. He still is offering the service and still is looking for volunteers.
Anyone who is interested in helping rake or needing help raking can call 667-6104.
“It’s fun, it helps seniors and it keeps the blood circulating,” Olvera explained.
People cannot just package their leaves any old way. Guidelines include:
Bagged and boxed leaves are picked up on normal garbage pickup days through the week of Dec. 5.
Bags should not be bigger than 33 gallons. Boxes should not weigh more than 65 pounds.
People with lots of leaves are asked to divide their containers into four equal amounts and put the containers out with their trash over four weeks.
Put only leaves in the bags.
Use bags and boxes that will not break or burst when lifted.
People can drop their leaves at the Ramsey Road Transfer Station. There is no charge for loads weighing less than 2,000 pounds.
For more information, call 765-4968 or 769-2227.
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