City makes changes to leaf collection due to coronavirus

  • Concord's new leaf loader. —Courtesy

Published: 10/30/2020 2:28:43 PM

Concord’s annual leaf pickup starts Monday but there’s a difference and, as you might guess, it’s due to COVID-19.

The leaf vacuums that Concord has used for years have been replaced this year with a variant of a snow blower because it will let the crew practice more social distancing.

For homeowners, the change means raking leaves to the curb has to be done a little differently. Residents who participate in bulk leaf collection will now have to rake their leaves fully into the street so the loaders can reach them.

Previously, leaves could overlap the curb and spill onto the sidewalk, yet crew workers could reach them with the flexible vacuum or by raking them together. With crews spaced out due to COVID-19, that’s not possible.

Leaves should be kept tight in windrows along the curb or edge of the road to keep streets clear. A video demonstration exists on the city’s website to show how to place leaves and how collection will work this year:

On-street parking should be avoided Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. until collection is finished.

Three crews will collect leaves from different areas of the city, each one alternating their starting locations from last year. One crew will start at the Bow town line and continue their way north, another will start at Blossom Hill Cemetery and work north, while another crew will start on Mountain Road near Fairview Drive and work south on the east side of the river.

The city’s website has a crew sector map, and once collection starts, the Fall Leaf Collection Map will show where crews have finished collecting. The city can’t tell when crews will reach any specific street due to unpredictable leaf volumes and weather.

Crews will collect only from areas once and will not be able to return.

As in past years, the area near Concord High School will get bulk collection on Veterans Day (Nov. 11) in coordination with the school being closed for the holiday.

The city’s bagged leaf collection is returning for the third year, starting Nov. 23 and continuing for three weeks through Dec. 11.

Leaves must be placed in biodegradable yard waste bags or labeled rigid containers on the curb by 7 a.m. each Monday during bagged collection, regardless of your scheduled trash day. Leaves will be collected separately from trash and recycling.

The city notes that leaves can be mulched into lawns by running over them with a lawn mower or mulching blade. They can also be brought to the Gelinas Excavation and Earth Materials Recycling Center for free with proof of residency.

Brush, branches, and limbs are not acceptable materials for the city’s leaf collection, but can be dropped off at Gelinas, behind the Capital Area Veterinary Emergency Center off Interstate 393.

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