This year, Mother Nature has given Southern Indiana quite a spectacle of fall colors popping up among the trees. While the colors are a feast for the eye, the leaves do not have the same appeal on the ground.
The City of New Albany will help clean up the leaf mess between now and December 10 with its annual leaf removal service, sending its leaf removal equipment to the streets. Not only is this a convenience to homeowners, it’s beneficial to the city. Joe Ham, the city’s Storm Water Director, pointed out that leaf debris leads to slippery roads and localized flooding.
"It has the same impact as trash. It washes to the lowest point and causes the flooding," said Ham. If not removed, leaves become clogged in inlet pipes, culverts and catch basins, and cause a big - and sometimes dangerous - mess.
It's up to the homeowner to prepare the leaves for pickup because the city will not rake the yards or sweep driveways. However, the city will pick up bagged or loose leaves during this two month period.
"It is important to pick it up. The most important part is the homeowner to be aware that during this two month period we need them to get the leaves out," said Ham.
The leaf pickup will occur within the city limits, and that includes Silver Hills, the Green Valley Road area and the Charlestown Road Corridor. The city's goal is to reach each neighborhood twice during the five weeks, or more in areas that are densely populated by trees. Ham explained that the leaf equipment will follow the street cleaner routes and after October 31, the street cleaners will follow the leaf equipment in order to assist with the cleanup. However, there will not be parking restrictions after October 31.
"If you want us to get to the leaves, please allow some type of access," said Ham. He explained that if the homeowner has loose leaves, they must park their cars away from the leaf piles to allow the equipment to pick up the debris.
Ham said that the leaf cleaners will attempt to follow the garbage collection schedule, depending on the weather. For example, there will not be pick up following a heavy rain, but after a slight drizzle of rain pick up will likely occur.
For more information call 945-1989.