City of Marion Proposes to Save Taxpayer Dollars by Creating More Accessible and Efficient Leaf Pickup Method

MARION, IN: (July 21st, 2016) – The Citywide Maintenance (Street) Department is proposing a new method for leaf pickup starting this fall, saving tens of thousands in taxpayer dollars while providing a more convenient and accessible pickup process to Marion residents.

Once the leaves start to fall this year, the City’s leaf pickup schedule would follow Marion Utilities’ trash pickup schedule, allowing residents to be served once a week during the leaf pickup season as opposed to once approximately every three weeks previously. Leaves would not be picked up at the same time as trash, but they would be picked up on the same day. An ordinance revision proposes that residents would be required to bag their leaves and place them on their property by the curb. If approved, residents would no longer be allowed to rake their leaves into the street.

Citywide Maintenance Superintendent James Loftis says the new proposed method is more in line with what other cities Marion’s size would do. “I know this would be a change, but we are happy to be providing this free service to the citizens. Many other cities surrounding us have stricter rules, and Carmel doesn’t even provide leaf pickup at all.”

By switching to the bagged system and therefore switching the schedule to align with trash pickup days, the City would save money due to discontinuing the use of leaf vacuum vehicles (which are costly and becoming less feasible to maintain), reducing the amount of manpower and overtime hours, and reducing the cost of fuel. Loftis explained that last year their expenditure for leaf pickup was approximately $56,000. With the new method, he estimates the cost to be $16,000…a savings of about $40,000. City drains would also become clogged less frequently, reducing the cost associated with storm drain cleaning efforts. Additionally, there would be a reduction in heavy City maintenance traffic during the leaf pickup timeframe.

As an alternative to bagging leaves, residents are encouraged to mulch leaves while mowing to provide nutrients to the soil. | Facebook: Marion, Indiana City Hall | Twitter: @CityOfMarion1

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