As preparations begin for the autum season, officials with the Murfreesboro Streets and Signs Department are reminding residents of city ordinances regarding the proper means of leaf disposal.
"When the leaves begin falling, residents are asked to place loose leaves within 10 feet off the street, so leaf vacuums can reach them," said Rick Templeton, director of the Streets and Signs Department. "For those who bag their own, they should be aware only biodegradable paper or plastic types will be accepted."
Loose leaves should also be kept separate from yard waste, including brush and tree limbs, because mixing them prevents vacuum collection.
Leaves the department collects are trucked to Murfreesboro’s mulch site, located at 4725 Florence Road.
Templeton said residents may personally take leaves to the mulch site.
Foliage has only barely begun to turn colors this year, Templeton said, so collections are sometime off yet.
“As soon as the leaves begin falling,” he said, “we’ll start picking them up."
Usually, the leaves begin falling before Halloween.
“Depending on the weather, our season generally begins sometime in October,” Templeton said, “especially if it’s dry and turns off cool with an early frost. We want to get the word out as early as possible, so residents can make any adjustments they need.”
Just how often collection crews will round the city will depend on how fast leaves fall, as well as how many residents bag or rake them to the street.
“We’ll be using four trucks and vacuums,” Templeton said. “The Murfreesboro Solid Waste Department will help out when needed because they have the larger trucks and knucklebooms.”
Before more falling leaves push crews into routine routes, he said, they will respond directly to individual residents who call the Streets and Signs Department at 615-893-4380.
Templeton said the heavier part of the leaf collection season normally ends around Christmas time, though crews are still picking up bags of leaves on into the first or second week of January.
“Once things slow down some (from the heaviest part of the season),” he said, “we will go back to going to specific spots on a case-by-case basis until they are gone.”