The City of Hillsdale will start its first round of curbside leaf collection for all residents on Monday, Oct. 25, according to a press release.
The city will collect leaves from each ward on different dates. Ward 1 is first in the cycle, followed by Ward 4, Ward 3, and Ward 2. A more detailed schedule of collection in each ward can be found on City of Hillsdale’s website.
In the past few fall seasons, the city required residents to bag their yard waste for the city to pick up. This was more cost effective for the city but more labor-intensive for residents, according to Jake Hammel, director of public services. This year, the city will return to curbside loose leaf pickup after purchasing new collection equipment.
“A millage was passed to allow the residents to go back to the loose leaf curbside collection method, but with labor the way it is and the cost of bringing on even temporaries just far exceeds what I could afford,” Hammel said. “We researched new equipment, to get the labor down to what we believe will be about four of my employees.”
The new equipment will make leaf collection more efficient, Hammel said. Additionally, the city will be able to use the equipment for other purposes, unlike other equipment the city considered purchasing, which could only be used for leaf collection and put in storage the rest of the year.
“The equipment that we purchased for leaf collection can be outfitted with snow plows, it can be outfitted with big brooms to clean parking lots,” Hammel said. “One piece of equipment can be outfitted with an asphalt mill to break up bad sections of road.”
While Hammel hopes this leaf collection method will be faster and more efficient than previous methods, he stressed the importance of complying with certain requirements. Hammel said residents must be sure not to park on the street outside their residence on the days their ward is scheduled for leaf collection.
“If there are cars parked on the street, it’s going to make it extremely tight for us to get through there,” Hammel said.
If the collection staff are not able to drive their vehicles through the street, Hammel said, the city will not pick up their leaves at all. Additionally, the city will not be able to collect leaves that are not clean, according to Hammel.
“The leaves have to be very clean, and by clean I mean they cannot have trash in them,” Hammel said. “They can’t have brush in them, they can’t have big sticks or whatever natural material. In the past we found bowling balls, grill utensils, tires.”