November 8, 2008 in City

City crews to start picking up leaves

Cleanup starts next week in Spokane, CdA; rain has suspended work in Valley
By The Spokesman-Review
 
CHRISTOPHER ANDERSON photo

Rain and wind have brought an end to the summer season as puddles cover the fallen leaves in downtown Spokane Friday.
(Full-size photo)

With rain expected in the region through at least the weekend, crews will start sucking leaf soup as the annual autumn pickup begins in Spokane.

Spokane Valley crews have suspended leaf sweeping because of the rainfall and will continue operations when it dries out a little, a city spokeswoman said.

Spokane crews will begin removing leaves that have fallen naturally into city streets in northwest Spokane and will work their way south through mid-December. Residents are being asked to move cars from streets on days when crews are working in their neighborhoods.

As tempting as it may be, residents of both cities should not rake leaves from their lawns into the street. Residents must deal with their own leaves.

The city of Coeur d’Alene, however, lets residents rake and sweep their leaves and pine needles into the street, where street crews pick them up over the course of two weeks. That process will begin Wednesday with neighborhoods south of Sherman Avenue, moving to the north.

Coeur d’Alene officials ask that residents rake leaves and pine needles into the street about one foot from the gutter line to allow for water drainage. Residents also are asked not to put leaves into the street after city crews have completed that area and not to include bagged leaves or any branches, rubble or refuse. Residents can help city crews by moving cars off the street during leaf pick-up and keeping away from the heavy equipment.

The city can’t provide a precise schedule due to weather conditions and unforeseen circumstances, but people can call the city’s Street Maintenance Department for more information at (208) 769-2233.

Leaves clog storm drains, which can create flooding, so it’s important to get a jump on them before the snow flies. Spokane Valley residents can report clogged storm drains to the public works office, (509) 921-1000.

“We encourage people if they notice standing  water, to be sure to give us a call and we’ll send out crews,” said Carolbelle Branch, spokeswoman for Spokane Valley. “The community can be such a great help.”

To see where storm drains and other storm water facilities are located in Spokane Valley, visit www.spokanevalley.org and select the “Maps” link to view the drainage structure facilities map.

There are a couple of options for residents wishing to get rid of their own leaves.

Spokane County residents can take them to the waste-to-energy incinerator on Geiger Boulevard or to Spokane County transfer stations – 3941 N. Sullivan Road and 22123 N. Elk-Chattaroy Road – between 7 a.m. and 4:30 p.m daily. The first 100 pounds of leaves can be dropped off for free. After that it costs $35 a ton.

But residents also are encouraged to compost their leaves. The recipe is one part leaves to two parts green material, so it’s recommended to bag leaves until grass clippings are available in the spring.

For a schedule of leaf pickup, visit www.s-r.com. For more information on composting, visit spokanesolidwaste.org.

Staff writer Alison Boggs contributed to this report.

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