A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley

What about all those left-over leaf piles?

Written December 17th, 2022 by Hasso Hering

Broadway Street on Dec. 14: One of many leaf piles left on Albany streets last week.

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)

The city’s Jeremy Stewart and Meredith Tennant clear a stormwater swale on Ninth Avenue on Dec. 14.

15 responses to “What about all those left-over leaf piles?”

  1. Bill Kapaun says:

    Unskilled work that could be done as part of a neer do wells Community Service sentencing if we had the will and judges/City could agree. It’s stupid to be paying PERS wages for such work..

  2. thomas earl cordier says:

    Republic collected several piles of mine after thanksgiving. I have seven gray container loads piled in front of my house in the street–been there two weeks– I made the date of 12/9. Still there. I don’t plan to remove them. Will contact Republic on Monday 12/19

  3. Brad Dennis says:

    The City of Corvallis has gotten a better deal with Republic. In Corvallis, leaves are generally picked up on garbage pickup day and multiple times during the season. The problem in Albany is you don’t really know when they are going to pick them up. If only our City leaders knew how to negotiate on behalf of us citizens. Then we’d know when to put them out. I watched the truck go by once this season before I could get my leaves to the street.

  4. MarK says:

    It’s a pain in the butt! We don’t have regular street sweepers to keep the gutters clean. We have more leaves than our yard waste container holds and if we use plastic bags, Republic won’t pick them up without an extra charge. I guess we’ll have to keep filling the yard waste can over the next several weeks and the storm drains will just keep getting clogged with the leaves in the meantime.

  5. Gordon L. Shadle says:

    It’s inevitable that poor service will result given a city granted monopoly.

    And the city has no desire to change things because they imposed an ordinance that gave them the power to skim a percentage of Republic’s gross receipts.

    It’s a legal shakedown.

    So please move along, nothing to see here.

  6. Matthew Calhoun says:

    We need to demand our City leaders make Republic live up to their contract or make a new one. Contact your city councilors and the mayor! Their phones and emails are listed on what passes as the city’s web site (terrible). We’ll see if Hasso posts my comment since my initials aren’t his buddies GS, BK, or TC.

    • hj.anony1 says:

      Careful what you wish for in terms of a new contract. No doubt any such agreement will come with a higher cost for each of us.

  7. Richard Vannice says:

    I called Republic on 12 Dec and was told that “due to the weather” pickup had been moved so that they would be picked up by the 19th.
    They were picked up on the 19th. The only reason we had any in the street was because the last leaf fall was more than we could put in the container.
    If a problem is perceived call them – you may not get the local office at first but stick with it and eventually you will get an answer.

    • Abe Cee says:

      Interesting that you wrote your reply on the 18th. Guess we’ll see if they do pickup around town by tomorrow evening.

  8. Connie says:

    I sure miss Albany-Lebanon Sanitation. The streets weren’t left in a mess and we weren’t charged for a service we didn’t need (extra pickup of yard bin/week). I agree that the council does not negotiate well for us.

  9. Bill Kapaun says:

    Republic started doing weekly yard waste pickup a year ago with the blessings of our CITY COUNCIL, since the city SKIMS a sales tax (which they call a “franchise fee”)

    They were wonderful enough to start JUST AFTER the leaves have been picked up where people frequently have ZERO yard waste to pick up. That was FREE PROFIT!

    I encourage people to utilize their yard waste containers and have REPUBLIC dump them, EVEN IF EMPTY!

    How many time has REPUBLIC gotten extra fee increases because fuel prices were high? How many times have they lowered prices when fuel became less expensive?

  10. C Holverson says:

    I think we should all pick up our leaves and dump them in the parking lot of city hall! I bet they would pick them up then!

  11. Richard Vannice says:

    Sorry about my error in saying Republic said they would pick up the 19th. I had just been arranging for some transportation on the 19th and old brains sometimes err.
    Should have been the 16th and indeed that is when they were picked up.
    Happy Holidays to all.


HH Today: A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley
Albany Albany City Council Albany council Albany downtown Albany Fire Department Albany housing Albany parks Albany Planning Commission Albany police Albany Post Office Albany Public Works Albany riverfront Albany schools Albany Station Albany streets Albany traffic Albany urban renewal apartments ARA Benton County bicycling bike lanes Bowman Park Bryant Park Calapooia River CARA climate change COVID-19 Cox Creek Crocker Lane cumberland church cycling Dave Clark Path DEQ downtown Albany Edgewater Village Ellsworth Street bridge Highway 20 homeless housing Interstate 5 land use Linn County Millersburg Monteith Riverpark North Albany ODOT Oregon coast Oregon legislature Pacific Power Portland & Western Queen Avenue Republic Services Riverside Drive Santiam Canal Scott Lepman Talking Water Gardens The Banks Tom Cordier Union Pacific urban renewal Water Avenue Waterfront Project Waverly Lake Willamette River

Copyright 2024. All Rights Reserved. Hasso Hering.
Website Serviced by Santiam Communications
Hasso Hering