Leaf disposal will be different this year

Temperatures are growing colder, and the annual task of disposing of falling leaves is here.

The Urban County Council voted Tuesday to change vacuum leaf disposal and recommend optional services this year because of a shortage of staff and equipment.

“Vacuuming is a personnel- and resource-intensive service that we simply do not have capacity to maintain this year,” said Rob Allen, Directors of Streets and Roads. “In the best of circumstances, it was impossible to match the timing of vacuum collection to the falling of the leaves, given the wide number of factors that affect leaf drop, and the limited resources available to the leaf vacuum program. For a few, the timing might have been great. For many, it was too early or too late.”

“While the vacuum program will be missed by some, other approaches provide more consistent service throughout the entire fall season,” he said.

Options this year include:

  • Keep mowing. Mowing leaves into a lawn is great for the soil, experts say, and is often easier than raking. Mow regularly, especially if the leaves are wet. It might be necessary to make a couple passes to break leaves down into dime-sized pieces. There is no need for a special mower to mulch leaves.
  • Consider composting at home. Leaves are a great material for home composters. This keeps the nutrients on your property. There are lots of compost units available for purchase, but they aren’t necessary. Just set aside a corner in your lawn to serve as the compost area.
  • For those who dispose of their leaves in bags or yard carts, residents with city waste service will have weekly pick-up of yard waste on regular service days. Waste Management employees will collect grey yard carts each week, except the week of Thanksgiving. To order a grey cart or replace a damaged cart contact LexCall at (859) 425-2255. Yard waste bags will be collected each week. Though carts will not be collected Thanksgiving week, yard waste bags will be picked up. Yard waste coupons for bags were included in the “At Your Service” newsletter delivered to homes with city waste service in early September. A postcard with additional coupons will be delivered in early November. (The carts and bags are serviced by different trucks, so please don’t report missed service until the end of your service day.)
  • All Fayette County residents and businesses can dispose of unlimited yard waste for no fee at the Haley Pike composting facility during November and December. The facility is located at 4216 Hedger Lane. Residents can take two pickup loads per month at no charge the rest of the year.

Please, never dispose of leaves or other yard waste by putting it in the street. It can clog storm drains, leading to flooding issues. It also overwhelms local creeks with nutrients, causing water quality issues.


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