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Kingsport extends leaf collection until end of month

Matthew Lane • Jan 3, 2019 at 9:00 AM

KINGSPORT — If you still have some leaves in your yard and you haven’t gotten around to raking them up, feel free to do so because Kingsport’s Streets and Sanitation Department will continue picking them up through the end of the month.

Every year Kingsport begins picking up loose and bagged leaves around the middle of October and does so through the middle of January. Ronnie Hammonds, the manager of the Streets and Sanitation Department, said on Wednesday the city has extended this service by another two weeks.

“We’re picking up a little bit right now, but I don’t think there’s going to be too much more out there,” Hammonds said. “There’s a few spots here and there.”

Those few spots may very well be your front yard, so if you were afraid that crews wouldn’t be coming back by your house with the leaf collection truck, chances are they will.

UNCOOPERATIVE WEATHER

Warm temperatures extended well into October, and as a result most of the leaves were still on the trees when Kingsport started its collection service.

During the first four weeks, Hammonds said, the city picked up only 118 tons of leaves. During the same time in the previous year, crews had collected 300 tons.

“The first five weeks (of service), we were well below average,” Hammonds said. “Then we had three weeks where we picked up more than 300 tons.”

Each year, the city aims to go through each neighborhood about 10 times, collecting about 1,900 tons of leaves across six different routes. This year, the city has collected around 1,700 tons.

And while leaf collection has been down from the previous year, what’s been up — at least since the middle of December — has been brush and limb collection. All thanks to the snowstorm that hit the Tri-Cities on Dec. 9.

“We’re almost picking up at the levels we do during the summer, which is very unusual for December and January. Those are usually the lightest months,” Hammonds said.

TIPS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

In case you plan to place leaves at the curb for collection, here are some recommendations from Kingsport’s Streets and Sanitation Department

• Place leaves at the edge of your yard and not in the street. Raking leaves into the roadway is a violation of city ordinance and you could incur liability by blocking the traffic lane.

• Do not cover any catch basins, drainage tiles or rake the leaves in the storm sewer.

• Keep all leaf piles clean and free of trash, limbs or other yard debris. This will help speed collection times.

• Bagged leaves are acceptable as well, and they should be placed at curbside on the customer’s regularly scheduled trash collection day, every other week.

For more information on where trucks are working each day, call the Leaf Line at 224-2429 or go to www.kingsporttn.gov.

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