Leaf loader back in action on Concord streets this fall 

  • The leaf collection system moves up Sewell Falls Road in Concord last November. GEOFF FORESTER / Monitor file

  • The new leaf collection system moves up Sewell Falls Road in Concord on Thursday, November 5, 2020. GEOFF FORESTER

Monitor staff
Published: 10/24/2021 8:00:11 PM

The pandemic is still here and so are pandemic-prompted changes in Concord’s unique curbside leaf collection that were instituted last year.

Curbside leaf pickup in the city begins Monday, Nov. 1. Pickup of bagged leaves starts Nov. 22.

Last year the city stopped its curbside leaf pickup using an enormous vacuum pulled behind dump trucks, a system that was unique in the state, because it required too much interaction among the multi-person team at a time when social distancing was being enforced. In its place Concord began using a trackless leaf loader, similar to a drivable snowblower, that scraps up leaves and blows them into a truck.

This change by the city required a change by property owners since all leaves now have to be pushed over the edge of the curb into the street – although not too far – rather than left on top of the curb as could be done with the vacuum system.

The leaf loader will again be used this year, General Services said.

Because the tractor system is less flexible than the vacuum hoses, leaves have to be raked together more carefully to be gathered: “Residents are advised to not place leaves in piles or around obstructions such as mailboxes, signs, or poles. The City recommends keeping leaves in a tight windrow along the curb, sidewalk, or edge of pavement to keep streets clear. Refrain from on-street parking Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. until collection is complete on the street to avoid blocking access to leaves.”

As always, the city notes that “bulk leaf collection is weather dependent” and can be suspended by early snow, that alternate methods including just mulching leaves into the lawn, bringing them to a farm that accepts them, or dropping them off at Gelinas Excavation & Earth Materials Recycling Center, 10 Intervale Road, free with proof of residency.

Brush, branches, and limbs are not acceptable materials for the City’s leaf collection, but can be dropped off separately at Gelinas Excavation Recycling Center off Fort Eddy Road “for a nominal fee.”

Find more information at www.concordnh.gov/leafcollection , including frequently asked questions and maps of crew routes and completed collection areas.

David Brooks bio photo

David Brooks is a reporter and the writer of the sci/tech column Granite Geek and blog granitegeek.org, as well as moderator of Science Cafe Concord events. After obtaining a bachelor’s degree in mathematics he became a newspaperman, working in Virginia and Tennessee before spending 28 years at the Nashua Telegraph . He joined the Monitor in 2015.

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