City updates leaf disposal

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By Special to the CKNJ

Residents of Campbellsville can look forward to simpler leaf collection and disposal this fall when the city rolls out its new XtremeVac Vacuum Leaf Collector.

Campbellsville Mayor Tony Young said this is a welcome improvement to an ongoing effort to keep the city's roadside ditches and culverts clean, in compliance with regulations set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Kentucky Division of Water.

Designed to be mounted onto a truck, the leaf collector features an automated arm that can be controlled inside the cab by use of a joystick. Young said the city already has a vehicle in its fleet suitable for the task and that it should be ready well ahead of the autumn season.

The new program is being closely modeled after the city of Bardstown, which has had much success with its vacuum leaf collector. The city's sanitation department will continue to oversee the leaf collection program, which generally runs from October through December.

According to City Codes Enforcement Officer Allen Crabtree, the vacuum streamlines the collection process, making it faster and more eco-conscious than the old system that relied on plastic waste bags.

Crabtree said the city is working to increase public awareness of its stormwater program, and making sure leaves are disposed of properly is at the forefront of environmental concern.

"When it rains, leaves that have been raked into a ditch wash downstream and clog storm drains," Crabtree said.

The interruption in the storm water system causes water to pool in the roads and can lead to flooding in problem areas, including Lebanon Avenue and several residential neighborhoods in South Campbellsville.

And when leaves rot, chemicals released during the decomposition process negatively affect the quality of the storm water.

Mayor Young continued by saying, “Our plan is to begin collecting leaves in the coming weeks. Initially, we will be using the same day scheduled to collect leaves as we use to collect trash. The sanitation crews will begin work on leaves during the late morning and into early afternoon hours. Once we learn how quickly we can cleanup the leaves we may make adjustments to the schedule.

Remember to place your leaves near the road and that the crews will only work the areas on the scheduled days.  They will return to the area the same day the following week. Please be patient with us as we start this new program.”

For more information about storm water management, contact Campbellsville City Hall at (270) 465-7011 or visit the city's website at www.campbellsville.us.