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Thursday, June 04, 2009

County bags leaf-collection program

County bags leaf-collection program; Official says cancellation will save more than $1 million.
Gazette, 4 Jun 2009 (Valentine).
Prince George's County residents will have to bag their leaves this fall instead of raking them to the curb for the county to collect, officials said.

The county's Vacuum Leaf Collection program, which dispatches trucks to 351 county communities to collect dead leaves piled up at curbs, has been cut to save money, Public Works spokeswoman Susan Hubbard said.
[Full story]
Save the leaf program.
Gazette, 4 Jun 2009 (Letter from James R. Behr).
The county is going to discontinue the curbside leaf vacuuming program next fall. This has been an excellent county service we have had for years. Instead we are to bag all these leaves.

What can the county officials be thinking of? All these thousands of plastic bags being placed in the leaf processing areas while another branch of government (the state) is trying to stop our commercial stores from using plastic bags. This is just the opposite.

In addition, a burden is being placed on taxpayers who have to spend good money to buy thousands of plastic bags not to mention a burden of the back-breaking job of bagging all these leaves. In my neighborhood, Barnaby Manor in Oxon Hill, we have trees that are old, large and beautiful, and we are knee-deep in leaves every fall.

This sort of stupid thinking has got to stop. The taxpayers deserve better. It is also noted the plans to do away with this service seem very much a secret and being kept very quiet so it can be sprung on we the people after the decision has been made. Come on taxpayers! Get on your computers, telephones or whatever and save this program from being done away with!
Picking battles.
Gazette, 4 Jun 2009 (Editorial).
As the county budget was being finalized, additional details about the $113 million in cuts began to roll out. One of the more popular programs that got the ax next fiscal year was the leaf-collection program.

This fall, residents will not be able to simply rake loose leaves to the curb on a specified day for the county to collect. Instead, they will be left to do away with the leaves themselves — or bag the leaves for a weekly county pickup.

The program was a minor luxury that understandably should have gone away during budget cuts. And there will likely be other lost luxuries that will surface as the year wears on. Ideally, the county will make them known so residents know what to expect — or what not to expect.

Unfortunately, also among the cuts, about 55 county employees will lose their jobs; many more will have to go without two weeks of pay this year. The school system has struggled to maintain basic programs, even shutting down some schools.

So in the grand scheme of things, the leaf piles can wait.

(Posted 2009)

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