The recently implemented New Lenox Leaf Collection Program has a tentative schedule; however, it has gone daily. It begins each Monday on the north side of town and spreads out to other areas the rest of the week. With daily pickups, the goal is to reach each neighborhood at least every other day.
In its first year of implementation, the Village of New Lenox is dispatching two leaf vacuum trucks. According to village hall, the schedule remains iffy. It depends on the weather and the amount of leaves that are coming down.
The trucks got through town quickly in the first half of the month, according to the village staff. But as the bulk of the leaves start to fall, the second half of the month is bound to get more hectic.
Residents are asked to be patient. The aim is to get through each neighborhood three times a week.
"It's a nice benefit for the residents," said . The older subdivisions, of course, will benefit the most because the trees are mature. Eventually, the newer neighborhoods will take on the same autumn task.
The process is simple, he said. Residents need only to rake their leaves to the parkway. They don't have to bag them, just spread out the piles and the vacuum can suck them up.
There are a few guidelines to follow:
- Place leaves on the parkway parallel to the street and approximately 12 inches behind the curb or edge of the pavement.
- Do not include any debris such as garden materials, brush, cans, paper, bottles, construction materials and the like.
- Do not pile leaves behind obstacles such as: parked vehicles, trees, mailboxes, fire hydrants or streetlights.
The most important issue concerning a leaf vacuuming program is making sure that the leaf piles are not blown into the street. If they get into the street, then they're bound to clog up the sewers or blow away as soon as the slightest breeze comes through.
The advantage of piling the leaves and spreading them out on the parkway is that the grass will serve as a natural place holder. The slight dip in the parkway is actually referred to as a "windrow." Like a windowsill, it's a bit depressed. These elements together work well to hold the leaves in place, he said.
In preparation for the Leaf Collection Program, the village board approved the purchase of a $42,000 leaf vacuum vehicle. Staff members are currently talking to New Lenox Township with plans to make use of their under-utilized leaf vacuum.
So the first year of the program is expected to begin with two designated vehicles.
Carroll said he expects it will take some time before the system is as reliable as green leaves going red, orange and yellow. "It's going to take a lot of education," he added. The village staff is working on brochure materials and other educational materials at the moment.