Leaf Collection Update

We ask for your patience as city crews continue to collect leaves in neighborhoods across South Milwaukee.

Three leaf crews will be working overtime this Saturday and next Saturday — in addition to normal weekday hours — to get as many leaves picked up as possible. We expect this work to be complete by Saturday, Nov. 29, weather permitting.

A few additional notes:

  • If residents have already placed leaves in the curb, and city crews have picked them up, please do not put additional leaves out. It is unlikely crews will return for a second pickup.
  • Once we make the final sweep, any leaves not picked up will have to be bagged and brought to the self-deposit station by the property owner.
  • Keep in mind that we cannot pick up leaves if cars are parked over the piles or tight up to the piles.

As crews continue to make their way through the city, we continue to ask that residents put away their rakes and mulch their leaves when and where possible. While the city will continue to do leaf collection, mulching is a better option for a number of reasons, including for the environment.

Learn more in the online letter I sent to residents this fall here.

(Note: Since I wrote this, we have found an alternative disposal site for our leaves: a facility in Caledonia. But the issues with the collection program remain remain the same.)

Going forward, into 2015 and beyond, we will be stepping up our communication efforts around the benefits of mulching. We’ll also continue to look for ways to deliver our leaf collection service more efficiently and cost effectively.

We appreciate your understanding.


Filed under City Services, South Milwaukee

5 responses to “Leaf Collection Update

  1. Frank Gratke

    Here is a another strange calculation. Should you use bags or get extra garbage cans? Having a big yard, bags fill fast and are hard to empty, at the self deposit station, you must empty the bag. A nice number is valuing your time at $10 an hour and cost of a garbage can at $10, after rebate, because it is easy to calculate. My best rough calculation is filling the garbage can 5 times pays for the can, Figuring a difference between bags and cans as a 12 minute savings. But great job Mr. Mayor in saving the long leave dump trip.
    Frank “Disco” G

  2. Joe Bialas

    I am troubled Mayor Brooks. The cut off date for leaves to be put into the street is November 15th, anything after the 15th would not be picked up (states that on the city webpage). I saw crews clean out the streets around my block on the 12th and 13th. My neighbor’s tree just started falling at the end of last week. He busted his ass on the 14th and finished up putting leaves on the street on the 15th, which was within the deadline. I drove around on Saturday the 15th and noticed other people raking leaves and getting everything in by the deadline. But then I read you’re little blog that if you already had crews come through, they probably won’t come through for a “second” pickup. That’s crap. You can’t set a deadline for leaves in the street and then do the pickup 2 days before the deadline and then tell the tax payers to go buy bags and do it yourself. We pay taxes for you to provide the basic service of collecting leaves, among other services. If we follow the rules and put out leaves on time it is YOUR job to complete the work. I know there are a lot of elderly and retired citizens that can’t bring leaves to the deposit station and rely on you to follow through on your job. So I hope you think this through before you tell my fellow citizens (elderly and retired included) who followed the rules…to go bag it yourself. Sincerely, Joe Bialas

    • Joe: Where do you live? I can pass your specific concern on to the Street Department. (Feel free to email that information.) To the bigger issue, we are doing our best. Leaf collection is always a pain point, but we are working to improve this service in 2015. One key message will be: Please consider NOT raking your leaves at all. For a number of reasons (environmental, it’s better for your lawn, cost to the city, efficiency, etc.) it’s better to mulch. We will be encouraging that more strongly in 2015 and beyond (even as we continue to pick up leaves).

      • Joe Bialas

        I can appreciate the effort to promote mulching etc. But not everyone has a mulching lawnmower. I see houses that don’t rake their leaves at all (not for the environment, but because they just don’t care) and their yards look like crap, most citizens take pride in their yards in this city. I live on a corner lot and I have leaves in my yard from my two neighbor’s trees and the four trees on my own property, that’s a lot of leaves you’re asking me to store or let rot on my lawn. I understand the effort to be cost effective but at the end of the day it is still is a basic service of the city to remove leaves.

  3. I agree with Joe, we have a tree in our yard that is still pretty full. My husband has raked 3 times to meet the cut off date, We are senior citizens and our taxes should take care of this. When i see city trucks with 2 or 3 men in it and 1 just sits and gets paid! , this should be looked into. I know they work hard with the snow removal, but thats only a few months ,how about seasonal workers? That should also be looked into. Thank you.

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