City officials notice benefits with new leaf program

City officials say that the change to the community's fall leaf collection program has so far been a benefit. Budget issues caused the city to eliminate the leaf collection program that allowed residents to rake leaves into the street in the fall for collection by the city.
Alex Doty
Nov 22, 2011

According to officials, the cost savings presented to City Council last April was $107,000.

City Public Works Director William Hunter said Monday he is pleased with the results.

“Most customers are going back to the bag system and the feedback is more positive than expected,” he said.

Under the old system, crews alternated sides of U.S. 31 each week until they switched to snow removal in December. Residents now bag leaves for pick up by Allied Waste, or take their leaves to Lakeshore Middle School or Griffin Elementary School for collection on Saturdays throughout the fall.

Hunter said if property owners put out leaves without bags, city crews may pick them up and send a bill — per a new ordinance adopted by City Council.

“The average bill would be around $25, but actual cost will depend on how much time it takes to collect a pile,” Hunter said, adding some piles might be $15, while other huge amounts could run in excess of $100.

City Manager Pat McGinnis said the change in the ordinance was to provide better customer service, not penalize residents for putting leaves out as they have in recent years.

To read more of this story, see today’s print or e-edition of the Grand Haven Tribune.

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