Next Week is Last Week for Leaf Pick Up; Assistance Program Offsets Burden on Residents

MARION, IN: (Dec. 9th, 2016) – Leaf pickup in Marion is winding down and will run one final week next week. A new leaf pickup method was implemented this year to save approximately $40,000 in costs to upkeep old equipment, which according to the Citywide Maintenance Department, was becoming a costly and antiquated system. The new method requires residents to bag leaves in paper bags as opposed to simply raking them to the curb. Residents were also encouraged to mulch their leaves to nourish the soil if they have the means.

The new leaf pickup method provides a more convenient and accessible process because pickups are more frequent and reliable since they fall on the same day that Marion Utilities picks up trash, as opposed to once about every three weeks previously. The new method also reduces the amount of manpower and overtime hours in the Citywide Maintenance Dept., in turn reducing the cost of fuel. Additionally, drains become less clogged, reducing the cost associated with storm drain cleaning efforts.

Meanwhile, local Marion champion, Linda Wilk, initiated the idea of offering a leaf assistance program. City leaders embraced the idea, and have been giving out bags to those in financial need to pick up at City Hall, with nearly $500 in funds raised by Wilk.

The City has also partnered with the Crossing Education Center whose students have been raking and bagging leaves for elderly and disabled residents.

The Crossing Job Training Instructor, Will Severns, said the program was a good opportunity for the students to serve. “Raking leaves for local residents has been a great experience for our students. We probably had 12 requests that we fulfilled for the city, and on top of that I would say an extra 5 from their neighbors. In total, we probably spent 20+ hours in Marion raking leaves. We met most of the residents we raked for, and they were all super appreciative.” Severns added that they would love to be involved again next year, and it would be awesome for more and more organizations to join in.”

Citywide Maintenance Director, James Loftis, said they are also trying to be accommodating to residents. “Even after our leaf pickup concludes, you may still call us at (765) 668-4450 if you still need your leaves picked up, and we will come get them. You may also bring them to the City Garage (Citywide Maintenance Dept.) at 520 E 6th St, Marion, IN 46953 from 7am-2pm Monday through Friday.

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