Leaf collection underway in NilesPublished 1:37pm Friday, October 26, 2012
The Niles Street Department crew began its annual fall leaf collection program on Monday, Oct. 24, according Joy Ray public works director.
“We started in the first ward and completed it late (Thursday),” Ray said. “We are in the second ward today.”
According to the city’s website, leaves are collected one ward at a time, rotating the program to begin in a different ward each year. Last year the program started in the fourth ward. This year it began with the first ward, and will continue in order from the second ward through the fourth.
Ray said residents could assist the Niles Street Department crews by following these few simple rules:
• Rake leaves to the back of the curb and not onto the pavement. Leaves raked into the street can cause flooding problems, create a safety hazard, and hampers snow removal operations (if the city experiences an early snowfall).
• Leaves mixed with brush, limbs, trash, ashes, or other debris will not be picked up.
• Leaves must be raked out in advance of the leaf vacuums. Leaves raked out afterwards will not be picked up.
• Please move vehicles to off-street locations when the crews are in the neighborhood. Cars parked in the street slow the collection process down significantly and force the crews to leave piles of leaves behind that cannot be reached with the equipment.
• Do not cover the water meter castings in the boulevard area. This prevents meter readers from taking actual readings and requires them to estimate your water usage.
Crews will go around Niles at least three complete times, weather permitting. The city advises residents not to take any chances and rake out as many leaves as possible in advance of the first pick up, since the second and third times around may be halted or delayed by bad weather. Normally, crews work 10 hours per day, Monday through Saturday. The goal is to complete the entire program prior to Dec. 15.
If the collection program is completely shut down due to early winter weather, and is unable to resume once weather improves, the city may schedule a spring leaf collection program. If that happens, an announcement in the Niles Daily Star and the South Bend Tribune would be released. Residents are urged to assume there will be no spring program unless there is an official announcement released by the Department of Public Works. Should residents not be able to rake leaves out in time to be picked up by the city, leaves can be taken to the Southeast Berrien County Landfill, 1540 Mayflower Rd. in Buchanan.