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Release Date: December 21, 2011



Yesterday, I sent out an e mail alert to residents asking for their thoughts on the town changing our leaf collection policy in 2012. I am proposing that we only pick up leaves that are bagged if they are left in front of homes. Four villages in Greenburgh--Ardsley, Dobbs Ferry, Hastings and Elmsford already have this policy in place. I contacted each of the Mayors and received the following response.

I am hopeful that the Town Board will change our policy as soon as possible so we can plan for an orderly transition from our current process (which is not working) to the more affordable and efficient leaf bag requirement.



 ELMSFORD From: MayorElmsford

Sent: Wednesday, December 14, 2011 7:29 PM

To: Paul Feiner; brian smith; drew fixell; hartley connett; peter porcino; peter swiderski

Subject: Re: your experiences appreciated with leaf pickup


Dear Mr. Supervisor,

We have been bagging leaves for many years.

We buy the bags off County Contract and store them at the Highway Shop.

We bring loads of them to Village Hall for distribution.

We give the residents 20 free bags a year and they can buy as many more as they wish paying what the Village pays for them.

We never go past the 1st week in December picking up leaves, were always done by then.

We pick them up in bags in a garbage truck Mondays on the North Side and Tuesdays on the South Side of the Village.

Maybe once a season we do a Saturday to pick them up but this year we did not have to all done on regular time, no over time.

Picking them up in a garbage truck is much faster and you can do more.

The garbage truck compacts them, the vacuum or loading loose in trucks you can't.

That takes up a lot of space while not getting many in the truck.

Loose requires many trips to the dump because you can't get that many in the truck, which wastes time, fuel etc...

In the same 15 minutes of picking up loose leaves at one house we can do a whole street.

We can pick up half the Village in half a day in one garbage truck.

Pickup once, dump go on to another project.

The day before Halloween we pick up leaves on a special pickup so there are none in the Village for Halloween, safer no mess for trick or treaters.

Loose leaves on streets calls for accidents.

Kids playing in the leave piles get hit by cars driving through them.

Cars parked on loose leaves catch fire from the hot exhaust.

Loose leaves take up parking spaces.

Loose leaves clog the storm drains.

Loose leaves hard to get to when cars parked in front of them.

Loose leaves blow in neighbors yards after they just raked them up.

Loose leaves get plowed from the snow plows when not picked up.

Wet loose leaves are slippery and dangerous.

You will get some complaints the first year we got about 6 but they get used to it. The big houses with many trees mostly have landscapers.

Bagging is much better in my opinion.

Thanks Bob


DOBBS FERRY From: hartley connett Sent: Thursday, December 15, 2011 3:38 PM

To: Paul Feiner


for Dobbs Ferry in a nutshell ...

Leaves must be bagged and put at curb.

The village no longer provides bags / residents must buy their own Branches and larger twigs should be bundled, also left at curb Similar to Hastings/Others the DPW have allowed larger branches to be put out after the winter and recent October storms; it took some time to get this all cleaned up ... it was painful Trees and large limbs have to be disposed of by professionals We also are encouraging people to Love Em and Leave Em with the leaves and compost on-site. We see more and more lawn signs from Landscapers promoting this, so it appears to be catching on.




HASTINGS From: Peter Swiderski [ Wednesday, December 14, 2011 2:21 PM

To: Paul Feiner

1) We require leaves to be bagged in paper bags and put at the curb. Until recently, we supplied the paper bags (annual cost $6K). Now we rely on the residents to buy their own.

2) We require branches and brush to be cut down to three-foot lengths and tied together with string to bundles no more than I think 30 pounds in weight and put on the curb

3) In the aftermath of this last October storm, we let people leave entire branches on the curb. There were tens of tons of debris and we finally finished the clean-up this last weekend, seven weeks later. Painful.

4) Trees and large limbs have to be disposed of by professionals

4) We are encouraging people to Love Em and Leave Em with the leaves and compost on-site.  We are apparently having some success with that. No numbers yet.





ARDSLEY From: Porcino, Peter Sent: Thursday, December 15, 2011 8:35 AM As the new Ardsley mayor, I don’t have all the facts and figures at hand.  I believe our experience has been much the same as described by Peter S. and Bobbie.


If I could add, it is my anecdotal observation that bagging is more time-consuming.  It has led many landscapers to conclude that it is faster and cheaper for them to haul the leaves away themselves rather than spend the time bagging them.  I often see the landscapers’ trucks filled with leaves as they leave (no pun intended) town.  This has the added benefit of vastly reducing the volume of leaves the Village is picking up and disposing.


We have been less formal, but as enthusiastic, as Irvington and Hastings in promoting “Love ‘em and Leave ‘em,” trying to get our residents to avoid shipping off their leaves in the first place, and mulching them and keeping them in place.  I don’t have figures, but I just don’t see many residents placing their bags of leaves out for pick up anymore.


Peter Porcino****************************************************

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