Leaves, leaves everywhere. Drive down most any Milwaukee street today and they're either in huge piles in the street, still on lawns or in both places.
The city's program to pick up leaves in Milwaukee neighborhood officially ended on Saturday. But what does that mean for the leaves that are still piled up around town?
Residents were allowed to begin raking leaves into the street on Oct. 13 and the city began pickup a week later. The problem, at least in my neighborhood, is that most trees were still holding tight to their leaves at that point.
By a week or more ago all the ash trees had dropped, but even today, the maples are still holding on to leaves on the lowermost branches. They really started losing their leaves en masse last week, which is why there is a 15-ft. long and three-foot high pile of leaves on my small street.
Cecilia Gilbert of the Dept. of Public Works tells me this morning that, "The Department stated that it would continue to collect as long as weather permits. I believe we are at about 85 to 90."
Maybe so, but drive around any residential street in the city and you're likely to find a lot of leaves still around.
This late leaf-drop happened last year, too, and the result was felt all winter long -- and into next spring. That's because not all leaf piles were picked up before the first big snow hit. When plows came, they plowed away the piles, and many of those leaves were left deposited at the lowest points of the street -- the sewer grates.
So, when there were heavy rains in autumn or spring -- or big snow melts in winter (of which there were more than a couple) -- there were lakes in the street.
What to do with leaves now that the collecting is done? There's no way for the four houses that have collaborated on the pile on our street to otherwise dispose of the detritus.
My compost pile is overflowing and the neighbors don't even have them. We can't throw leaves in the garbage carts; anyway, there are too many of them. And there are still a few maples on the block that will drop more leaves.
Luckily, the Dept. of Public Works' Web site says, "After Nov. 15, sanitation crews will still pick up remaining leaf piles as long as weather permits."
Barring that, the DPW suggests bringing leaves to one of the city's self-help centers. Sure, I'll pile them into the back seat of the Civic.
Actually, what I did instead was contact my alderman and he responded quickly offering to get an order put in for removal of the piles on my block. Now that's service!
BayViewGal | Nov. 18, 2008 at 10:37 a.m. (report)
Ahh...Tony Z...El Zoro, the Hero of the People, or the the Hero of the Leaves in this case.
krk4uw | Nov. 18, 2008 at 10:18 a.m. (report)
I called the city a few weeks ago about the numerous leaf piles on the east side, and was told that it should be picked up by November 15th. This did not happen.
It looks like a lot of people took heed of news reports recommending we get the leaves out this past weekend. Unfortunately I am very skeptical they will get picked up under the excuse of last night's snowfall.
I urge neighbors to call the DPW (respectfully of course) and remind them of leaf piles still in your street to avoid last year's mess.
In fear as a Shorewood resident, I raked insanely on Saturday assuming that Shorewood follows the "Monkey see, monkey do" creed. I later found out by a informative neighbor that our last pick up is the second week in December, weather permitting. Thankfully because my informative neighbor has a very large and tall Maple that only drops into my yard and still has quite a few leaves left.
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