Fall is in the air in the City of Solon, with an annual leaf collection program kicking off on Monday.

Service Director Thomas G. Bandiera said the annual program, which amasses about 15,000-16,000 yards of leaves a year, will begin Oct. 14 and run trough mid-December, weather permitting.

“The faster residents can get leaves out to the curb, the faster we can get them picked up,” Mr. Bandiera said. “Obviously we are at the mercy of the trees.”

The overall goal is to collect the leaves prior to the first snow fall, he said.

Residents are urged to avoid putting any debris, including branches, sticks, bricks or rocks in the leaf piles. Not only does it cause “catastrophic damage” to the equipment, but it slows the entire operation down, Mr. Bandiera said.

A total of six trucks equipped with leaf machines on the back will go throughout the city and follow the garbage routes.

Piles are typically put out in wind-row fashion on the curbs, not in the street, Mr. Bandiera said.

“Crews will make trips around the city and collect those leaves and continue those trips through the months of October and November and the first two weeks of December,” Mr. Bandiera said.

The crews cannot stay on a particular schedule because they never know when the piles are placed out.

The leaves are brought back to the service department’s composting facility on Cochran Road and dumped in a wind-row fashion.

“We let them sit over the winter and break down and turn them into compost, which is available back to the residents in the spring,” Mr. Bandiera said.

The same trucks that are used for leaf collection are those that are used to plow snow.

“We are trying to get the leaf program over before the snow flies so we can get those trucks back in the garage and outfitted with snow plows and salt spreaders,” Mr. Bandiera said.

If residents have questions on the program, they can call the service department at 440-248-5834.

For the last decade, Sue Reid has covered the government, business climate and residents of Solon. A Times reporter for 22 years, Ms. Reid has earned commendations from the Ohio Newspaper Association and Cleveland Press Association.

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