'Leaf' it at the curb

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO/KJCT)-- October is generally the height of the fall colors season, but those leaves are starting to pile up.

Residents, in the city of Grand Junction, who are tired of endless raking can just rake them off their properties and into the street and the city will do the rest.

Four vacuum trucks and two street sweepers suck up all the leaves in Grand Junction. Each truck and crew can pick up between at least 400 properties of leaves in just one day.

"Welcome to leaf season,” said leaf collector Bob Spaid.

"Some years they all come at one time, last year was our best time because it was spread out throughout the season,” said Darren Starr, the manager of streets and solid waste for the City of Grand Junction.
"The leaves are even worse than some of the stuff that could blow in."

They make several trips a day from neighborhoods back to their dumping ground.

"It mulches them and packs them very well,” said Spaid.

Each machine can hold 20 loads of rounded leaves.

"If we don't pick them up and winter comes then you have the leaves that fall down the streets," said Starr. "Then they plug your storm drains which can cause even more issues for our storm drain system, backs up, flood, floods people out."

The leaves are then recycled into compost and sold back to the public.

"Over the years we usually were able to get everything picked up,” said Starr.

There are five zones across Grand Junction. Officials sent out leaflets to tell residents when crews will be in specific neighborhoods.Crews say they will reach every residential neighborhood within the city limits, and they'll come by every two weeks until mid-December.

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