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Bagged Leaves Collection Begins Tuesday in Chicago

By Howard Ludwig | November 12, 2013 6:49am
 Chicago crews will collect fallen leaves placed in brown paper bags over the next two weeks.
Seasonal Yard Waste Collection Starts Tuesday
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BEVERLY — City crews will begin picking up seasonal yard waste on Tuesday.

Chicago residents should place leaves into brown paper bags and place the compostable refuse beside their regular garbage cans.

For the next two weeks, additional crews from the city's Department of Streets and Sanitation will be dispatched from Tuesday through Friday to collect yard waste separately from garbage and recycling. The yard waste eventually will be taken to be composted.

An online map details the specific days when bagged leaves will be gathered in each neighborhood.

"With the protracted fall season, the department is taking proactive measures to collect leaves across Chicago before our first snow," Streets and Sanitation Commissioner Charles Williams said in a news release.

The city also is extending its street-sweeping calendar into December to deal with the late fall. Both of these efforts are attempts to avoid the drainage issues caused when leaves mix with snow, Williams said.

Still, city residents are asked to keep an eye on curbside catch basins and clear away any debris that may interfere with proper drainage, said Thomas Powers, commissioner of Chicago's Water Management Department.

Anyone interested in composting leaves, grass clippings and other natural waste can receive a rebate of up to 50 percent on the purchase of a compost bin through Chicago's Sustainable Backyards Program. Rebates also are available for rain barrels as well as certain trees and native plants.

In some city neighborhoods, including Beverly and Morgan Park, residents have grown accustomed to placing fallen leaves in garbage cans marked with a green sticker that reads, "Yard Waste Only."

The stickers, which date to the Daley administration, were available through aldermanic offices for a years and were intended for residents to dispose of leaves and other compostable waste from April 1 to Nov. 30.

Molly Poppe, a spokeswoman for Streets and Sanitation, said the green sticker program ended "a few years ago."

She encouraged Chicago residents to use brown bags and place them outside for pickup over the next two weeks.