In case you had not noticed, there are many piles of dead autumn leaves left on Albany streets. Will somebody pick them up and clear the gutters of all that mulch before it clogs the storm drains the next time it rains?
The short answer is no. The long answer is this:
Under its city franchise, Republic Services collected piled-up leaves from Albany streets over three two-week periods this fall. The schedule was made early in the year, and the third and last pickup ended on Dec. 9.
But, presumably because of the long mild weather in October, many deciduous trees didn’t shed their leaves until the scheduled pickup was over.
On a bike ride this week, I spotted a city crew raking up leaves on Southwest Ninth Avenue, and for minute there I thought Public Works was stepping in where Republic Services had left off.
But no, Meredith Tennant of the city’s environmental services section explained what was going on. The crew was raking leaves out of the stormwater swales built into Ninth Avenue when five blocks of the street were rebuilt in 2020.
The idea of the swales is to let storm runoff seep into the ground, and for that to work properly, leaves apparently have to be raked out in the fall.
What about the piles of dead leaves left in the streets? If one of them is in front of your house, you might consider shoveling it into your Republic Services cart for yard debris and then putting the cart on the street to be taken away the next time the truck comes around. (hh)