The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

Local News

June 18, 2014

Ashtabula City Council looks to abolish current leaf bag program

ASHTABULA — City Council took the first step Monday night to abolish the current leaf bag program.

Council officially voted to waive the fee for disposing of bags containing yard waste for the month of June. Public Works employees have been picking them up for free.

City Manager Jim Timonere gave a report during the pre-council meeting on a new leaf bag  program. He said the city is losing money selling leaf bags and stickers for bags. Public Works only has eight employees.

“We don’t have the money and the crews to pick up bags,” he said.

Council Vice President Chris McClure asked for legislation for the change during the regular meeting. He said City Council’s Public Works/Utilities/ School Committee voted in favor of the  new program at its June meeting.

Under the new leaf bag program, Public Works crews will pick up leaves April through May, and during the months of October and November each year, and the city will eliminate the 25-cent leaf bag stickers and the sale of leaf bags.

During the other eight months of the year,  city residents will be able to throw their yard waste at a roll-off at Public Works on West 24th Street. There will be no fee for this service and residents can buy their leaf bags at a store of their choice.

Timonere hopes the new program will go into effect at the end of July. In the meantime, the city is still picking up leaf bags, but they do not have to have a special sticker.

Ward 2 Councilman August Pugliese has said the leaf pick-up program began in the 1960s when the Environmental Protection Agency initiated a prohibition on burning leaves.

Residents have been buying 25-cent stickers to place on leaf bags and the city picks them up curbside. Free pickup only has been offered only for the months of April and November.

Superintendent of Public Service, Dom Iarocci said he supports the proposed program because it will improve efficiency in the city’s trash, recycling and yard waste curbside programs.

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