Henrico makes schedule changes for 2013-14 leaf-collection programs

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maple-leaves-backgroundHenrico County is adjusting the schedule for its 2013-14 free and paid leaf-collection programs, eliminating pickup periods that have had low participation and could interfere with snow removal efforts.

Henrico will provide free curbside collection of bagged leaves from Nov. 4 to Jan. 26. Crews will make two pickups per street during the collection period. Most county streets are included in the service.

Traditionally, the curbside collection effort extended into March and featured a third pickup. County officials noted that crews typically have picked up few bags during the final collection but were required to travel each street included in the program.

“This wasn’t very efficient,” said Melvin Slough, community liaison for the Department of Public Utilities. “Because of the low participation in the third pickup, we believe we can reduce the schedule for bagged-leaf collection and continue to provide the same level of service.”

Henrico also is streamlining the schedule for its leaf-vacuuming program. The service, which costs $30 per order, will be available from Nov. 12 to Jan. 3 and again from March 3 to 28. The shorter schedule will allow the county to direct resources to the removal of snow and ice in January and February.

Slough noted that the Department of Public Works uses the same trucks to vacuum leaves as it uses to plow and treat roads following a snowfall or freezing rain. The time required to remove vacuum equipment and install plows and salt spreaders could slow the county’s response during a winter storm.

“These schedule changes will help Public Works focus on removing snow during the winter without spending time changing equipment on the trucks,” he said.

Adjustments to the leaf-collection programs will save the county $75,000, officials said.

Residents can place an order for the vacuum-collection service beginning at 8 a.m. Tuesday, Nov. 12 by completing a form atwww.henricodpu.org/leafpub or by calling (804) 501-4275.

Residents do not need to contact the county to have their bagged leaves collected. A pickup schedule, listing of streets and other program details are available at the website.

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