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Roseville launches annual fall leaf pickup program Nov. 7

Resident unhappy with policy for homeowners in gated communities
By: Sena Christian, The Press Tribune
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Every fall and winter it’s the same story: fallen leaves clog storm drains and flooding occurs.

The City of Roseville’s annual fall leaf pickup program aims to curb this inevitable problem as much as possible by encouraging residents to rake up those leaves and keep them out of the gutter.

“It gets leaves out of drains, which in turn keeps the streets from flooding, which in turn keeps the streets safe for motorists,” said Street Maintenance Superintendent Jerry Dankbar.

The program begins Monday, Nov. 7 and concludes mid-January.

Residents should see if they qualify for the un-bagged leaf option, usually for neighborhoods heavily populated with trees (see infobox below). If they don’t, residents can place bagged leaves in the driveway.

All collected leaves are sent to the Western Placer Waste Management Authority for recycling. The green waste is composted on site, certified organic and sold back to the public.

The center recycles about 55,000 tons of green waste annually, which includes leaves, grass and branches, according to Stephanie Ulmer of the waste management authority.

The city’s leaf pickup program has been operating for at least 20 years and is popular among residents, Dankbar said.

“It’s a very successful program,” he said. “I gauge that based on plugged drains.”

During the rain, leaves have the potential to plug storm drains. If crews pick up un-bagged or bagged leaves during the day, this helps prevent flooding, which means the city spends less money paying crews overtime to go unplug drains at night.

But some residents aren’t eligible for the program. Tim Eyster lives in a gated community off Secret Ravine Parkway and has a few trees in the front yard that reach 30 feet tall.

The city doesn’t collect bagged leaves in gated or private communities.

“I have no idea what living in a gated community has to do with picking up bags of leaves when I pay the same fees and, therefore should get the same level of service as anyone else in Roseville,” Eyster said.

Dankbar said he receives lots of phone calls every year from residents upset with that policy.

“Those are private drains,” he said. “We don’t use public money to maintain private drains.”

Maintenance and leaf pickup is the responsibility of the homeowner’s association. Residents in these communities can use their green waste bins and black garbage bins for leaves, and all of those contents are recycled, too.

Eyster called the city to ask about borrowing an extra green bin for the fall. The city charges $11.55 per bin for a minimum of two months.

“It just seems like a fee that is kind of annoying,” Eyster said. “I don’t mean to be critical of them. It just seems like it can easier for them to service all citizens.”

Sena Christian can be reached at senac@goldcountrymedia.com. Follow her on Twitter at SenaC_RsvPT.

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To participate in Roseville’s leaf pickup program:

Un-bagged option
• Visit the city’s leaf pickup map online to see if you qualify for the un-bagged leaf option (for areas of Roseville heavily populated with trees)
• Pile loose leaves from the front yard only in the street in front of your house. Keep the pile away from parked cars and out of gutters. City crews pick up every couple weeks.
• Piles with green waste, branches, limbs, rocks, animal waste or metal will not be picked up

Bagged option
• If you don’t qualify for the un-bagged leaf option, place front yard only leaves in a bag. Each bag must weigh less than 40 pounds.
• Place bags in driveway near the curb or in the street away from standing water and out of the gutter
• Call the Community Bulletin Board at (916) 774-5842 and specify number of bags to be picked up. Crews cannot remove leaves from gated or private communities.
• Crews pick up bags on Tuesdays and Fridays, starting at 6 a.m. Bags with green waste, branches, limbs, rocks, animal waste or metal won’t be collected.
• For more information, visit www.roseville.ca.us/leaves or call (916) 774-5790.