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Department Of Public Works Begins Leaf Collection

Thursday, October 16, 2003

(Washington, DC) Last year, thousands of trees in the District's residential areas dropped 9,000 tons of leaves into yards and onto houses, driveways, sidewalks and cars. As part of its annual operations, the District Department of Public Works (DPW) deploys personnel with leaf vacs and leaf blowers, packer trucks, dump trucks and roll-offs to tackle the daunting job of clearing away these leaves from public space. This year, the city's leaf collection program lasts from November 3, 2003 through January 10, 2004.

Residents can take advantage of this effort by clearing leaves from their own property and bringing them out to the curb. For more efficient collection of leaves, each ward has been divided into collection zones. DPW will use large machines to vacuum loose piles of leaves from curbside tree boxes on each street, in each zone, at least twice. Additionally, residents may set out bagged leaves with their regular trash at curbside and alley collection sites. However, bagged leaves may take longer to collect.

A brochure containing a detailed leaf collection schedule has been mailed to households across the District to give residents ample time to plan for leaf season.

"In the City of Trees, clearing away leaves represents a sizable chunk of our annual activity," said DPW Director Leslie Hotaling. "So, we are getting ready for the season by servicing leaf vacs and giving extra training to DPW employees," she said.

Motorists are reminded that wet leaves, such as those brought down by the recent rainstorms, can create slippery road conditions. Reduced speed is recommended when approaching patches of wet leaves in the travel lanes of residential streets.

Last fall, DPW collected nearly 10,000 tons of leaves. After collection, the leaves are added to a huge compost pile at the Ft. Totten Trash Transfer Station at 4900 Bates Road, NE.