‘Tis the season, for leaf pick-up

Cristen Friddell

The Public Works Department began its annual Loose Leaf Pickup on Nov. 1, a service provided free by the city.

Michael Pillow, who has worked for the city’s Public Works Department for about 24 years as a crew supervisor, said this service has been offered for as long as he has been on staff.

The department comes to pick up the loose leaves raked into piles from residents’ yards and hauls them to the University Farm on Nashville Road, where they are turned into mulch, said Bobby Phelps, operations manager for Public Works.

In order to schedule the pickup times, the city was spilt into 10 different sections known as work zones, he said. 

Each work zone has different pickup dates, Pillow said.

The city’s website states that it is the resident’s responsibility to “rake loose leaves to the curb in time for your pickup date.”

Residents can find their work zone and pickup dates on the city website, in the November issue of SOKY Happenings, or on Insight Cable Channel 4, said Laura Harris, the head of Channel 4 and the graphic designer for the city.

She said Channel 4 will also be showing informational slides that include guidelines for the pickup set forth by the department, which allow for quick and effective service.

The guidelines on the city website state that leaves need to be raked into piles near the curb for pickup.

Leaves must stay in the yard and out of the way of the street, any sidewalks, cars, gutters or hydrants, according to the website. The piles must only consist of leaves – no branches, rocks or trash.

Privately-owned trailer parks, subdivisions outside city limits and business premises are not included as part of the department’s route, according to the website.

Department officials said they will not pick up leaves that do not follow the guidelines.

If someone breaks the guidelines, the department will leave an orange pamphlet at the residence explaining why the leaves were not picked up, along with a contact number, Pillow said.

He said if they finish pickup in one area, they will try to take call-ins. 
Phelps said the College Hill Historic District can be difficult for pickup due to all the parked cars in the area.

If necessary they will close the street off to parking and tow cars that are parked in the no-parking zone, he said.

“But that is a last resort,” Phelps said. “We really don’t want to do that.”

There will be no leaf pickup services on the Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year Holidays, he said.

The pickup will resume on Jan. 3 on a call-in request only or to clear any leaves obstructing drainage.

Pillow said they will go out a couple times a week during January to do call-in requests.

The leaf pickup hotline number is 393-3333.