Niles Street Department to begin fall leaf collection soon

Published 11:20 pm Monday, October 11, 2010

The City of Niles brush chipping program will end once the street department completes a full sweep of the city, beginning today.

Once they have covered the entire city one complete time, the program will end and not be offered again until March. While no date has been set for the start of the fall leaf collection program, it is anticipated that it will start either the week of Oct. 18 or 25. Once the start date is known for certain it will be released to the media.

Limb/brush chipping rules

Material must be placed at the curb or edge of roadway by no later than 7 a.m. today with the cut ends facing toward the street whenever possible. Do not place limbs or brush in the street.

Material must be easily handled by one person.

Tree roots or tree trunks; vines, leaves, limbs and brush with dirt attached; rose and other thorn bushes; lawn and flower clippings; and limbs mixed with wire, nails or other trash will not be picked up.

The City of Niles reserves the right to limit or reject the material to be picked up due to size, quantity or type.

The program is not intended for tree topping or removal that would normally be handled by a tree removal contractor.

Do not cover the water meter lid in the boulevard. This limits the meter reader’s access to our meter which may cause readings to be estimated.

The maximum amount of brush to be picked up per location is the bulk (pre-chipped) amount that will fit into a single dump truck. Residents are requested to use good judgment when placing limbs and brush out for pick-up. Very large piles have a tendency to slow the program down, delaying the pickup for others on the list.

Fall leaf collection program 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 there is early snowfall, such as last year);

• Leaves mixed with brush, limbs, trash, ashes, lumber or other debris will not be picked up;

• Leaves must be raked out in advance of the leaf vacuums. Leaves raked out afterward will not be picked up;

• Move your vehicles to off-street locations when the crews are in your neighborhood. Cars parked in the street slow the collection process down significantly and force the crews to leave piles of leaves behind that can not 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 the city at least three complete times, weather permitting. Don’t take any chances; continue to rake out as many leaves as possible since the program could be halted or delayed by bad weather. Normally the crews work 10 hours per day, Monday through Saturday. The goal is to complete the entire program prior to Dec. 15.

Assume that there will be no spring program unless there is an official announcement released by the department of public works. If early winter weather were to completely shut down the collection program and they are unable to resume it once the weather improves, they may schedule a spring leaf collection program. If that were to be the case, an announcement in the Niles Daily Star would be released. Should residents not be able to rake leaves out in time to be picked up by the city, they may take leaves to the Southeast Berrien County Landfill, 1540 Mayflower Rd., Buchanan, and dispose of them in a convenient, easily accessible location.