Traverse City Record-Eagle

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April 20, 2013

Snow won't delay Traverse City leaf pick-up

TRAVERSE CITY — City Commissioner Jim Carruthers wants east-side residents to have more than the weekend to move leaves out of their yards to the city streets.

Officials will begin their annual spring leaf pick-up Monday on the city’s east side and work west from there. Carruthers said many people still had snow in their yards until this week and need more time. He asked city staff for a one-week delay.

“It’s a time thing; people are going to be forced to spend Saturday and Sunday trying to take care of their leaves now, and we’re supposed to get snow on Saturday,” Carruthers said.

Carruthers said he’s had two or three concern residents approach him, but city staff told him no delay.

“We’re going to start on schedule,” said Bob Cole, the city’s public services director. “People have received notes that we are starting and we don’t want rain to wash all of those leaves into the catch basins.”

The leaf collection won’t be followed by an annual spring clean-up this year. The city ended the annual rite of streets loaded with junk and prowled by recyclers and junk collectors. Residents are allowed to put out one bulky item a month for retrieval by American Waste without extra charge. The spring clean-up cost the city up to $28,000 a year in landfill charges, Cole said.

The city has received some inquiries about the spring clean-up, Cole said, but it’s often because people are unaware of the monthly bulk pick-up that’s part of their trash service.

The city will begin picking up brush April 29 and officials want to be ready to begin street repairs as soon as the weather warms and asphalt plants open, Cole said.

“The weather’s got to change,” Cole said. “Doesn’t it?”

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