The annual tradition of bagging fall leaves in the City of Jackson is now an activity of the past. Following approval from the Jackson City Council, residents will now be able to rake loose leaves to the curb for collection by the City’s Department of Public Works.
At a special city council meeting held Monday, Oct. 21, the council approved a plan to scrap the City’s bagged leaf pickup program in favor of a loose leaf collection. Previously, Jackson residents had to bag leaves and place them curbside for pickup by a contracted company. Residents are now allowed to rake their loose leaves into parkways, which is the area between street curbs and sidewalks, for collection by Public Works staff. Only loose leaves will be collected. Leaf piles that contain trash or yard waste will not be collected. We are also asking residents to not rake leaves past the curb into gutters. Having loose leaves on streets and gutters damages road surfaces and clogs storm drains.
While loose leaf collection has been conducted previously in Jackson, this is an entirely new approach. This new approach to leaf collection is made possible by the purchase of special equipment that vacuums up loose leaves. The purchase of two collection trailers that will be attached to DPW vehicles is happening immediately so leaf collection can begin in mid-November. Two trucks that have built-in collection equipment are also being purchased and will be available in spring 2020. The overall purchase cost of $631,414 will be spread out over 10 years. It will also be paid for by the $143,500 that the City already allocates annually for leaf collection.
The bagged leaf pickup program had been going on in the City of Jackson for several years. However, City officials have been researching alternatives after receiving feedback from residents about how the collection could be done more conveniently. The plan to switch to loose leaf pickup was recently proposed after new equipment became readily available for purchase. City Engineer Jon Dowling says this new approach will benefit the city. “Some residents have so many leaves they end up filling more than 100 bags every fall. This new approach makes fall cleanups a lot easier on residents, and it can be done for the equivalent cost of what we’re already doing,” Dowling said.
City staff are now making plans to start the new leaf collection in mid-November. The collection is expected to take place through December. Residents will be notified through mailers, CodeRED notifications, the City’s website and City social media platforms about when and where the collection is happening.
Watch this video to learn more about the new leaf program: