Thursday, December 18, 2014

Rogue Pin Oak Ignores Leaf Collection Schedule

Here in Section 1 (Princeton's divided into five sections for leaf collection), a rogue pin oak is ignoring the collection schedule. A thorough walk around the block suggests it has accomplices scattered throughout town. The schedule says the last loose leaf pickup was a month ago, and the last bagged leaf pickup was Dec. 15. But this pin oak (upper left) has held onto its leaves and is dropping them in a clearly passive aggressive, "time release" fashion that may continue into January. Since trees have rings, we can only assume that this tree is the ring leader who has prompted residents in turn to rake the leaves into the street in defiance of municipal collection schedules. The consequence for all this rogue behavior? The town will surely ignore its own collection schedule and come by once again with The Claw and its heavy-metal entourage.

Wind has blown the leafie-come-lately pin oak's leaves into neighbors' yards, making the disconnect between town collection schedules and the tree's behavior a problem for multiple homeowners.

What's the solution? If each neighbor had a roll cart and weekly year-round collections, these neighbors could keep up with the slow drip of leaves from this and other oak trees, rolling the cart out to the curb just one day a week rather than leaving piles of leaves out on the streets for what could be weeks.

Any extra beyond the cart's capacity could be put in yardwaste bags or piled in a leaf corral tucked into a corner of the yard. A large, 96 gallon roll cart would hold all the leaves in these five partially filled bags, which are now stranded at the curb because they were put out too late for the season's last pickup.

The recurrent message from residents is that they need a curbside service with no stops and starts. A consistent, weekly pickup will also relieve staff of having to fashion and then revise complicated stop-and-start collection schedules.

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