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Villages offer leaf pickup

TRI-COUNTY AREA—The leaves have gone from a colorful cover on the trees to a colorful cover on the ground.
To help get rid of the fallen leaves, area villages are offering leaf pickup to residents. All villages have one rule in common when it comes to pickup; leaves must be between the sidewalk and curb.
“Not in the road,” said Dresden village Clerk Terry Dilts.
Mary Ann Martin, Penn Yan deputy clerk, said pickup started Nov. 2 and would last five weeks, depending on the weather.
Cheryl Wood, Dundee deputy clerk, said residents can bag up leaves if they want, but do not have to. She added Dundee does not want to pick up sticks because those can jam up the leaf machine. Wood said leaf pickup has no set end time.
Dilts said that in Dresden leaf pickup goes until Dec. 11. She added residents should not put out sticks or garbage as that is damaging the machine.
In Hammondsport, leaf pickup will go until Nov. 20. Residents are advised that for the last day of pickup to rake the leaves out the day before. The village does not take branches or trash.
Rhonda Slater, Watkins Glen account clerk/typist, said the village has started already and does pickup for several weeks, until most leaves are gone. Brush will be accepted, but must be placed in paper bags issued by the village office, with a limit of six bags per pickup. According to the village’s Web site, any bag weighing more than 30 lbs. will not be taken. Tree branches must be cut to less than 10 feet long, and a diameter of no more than four inches. There is a limit of 10 branches per pickup.
Suzanne Casselberry, Montour Falls clerk, said the village will continue to do leaf pickup until weather prevents it. Kristi Pierce, Odessa clerk, said there are no restrictions in the village. She added the crew picks up leaves and brush year round.
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation also has recommendations about what to do with leaves:
• Create compost from your leaves. A big pile of leaves will decompose, but very slowly. Leaf volume and decomposition time can be greatly reduced by shredding. Rake dry leaves into low piles and mow over them several times with a mulching mower. Up to three-fourths an inch deep of shredded leaves can be applied to your lawn.
• Use leaves as mulch. Leaves can be used to cover bare soil in your vegetable garden during the winter and to protect cold-hardy vegetables like carrots, kale, leeks and beets for extended winter harvest. In the spring, you can turn the leaves into the soil. Decaying leaves will deplete soil nitrogen, so add an organic source of slow-release nitrogen to compensate before planting. Avoid placing any mulch in contact with tree trunks or the base of shrubs as this can encourage pests and disease.
Not an option: burning.
As of Oct. 14, it is illegal to burn leaves anywhere in New York state. Brush of a certain size may be burned. According to the DEC, burning leaves creates smoke that contains dangerous compounds. The smoke can irritate anyone’s lungs, but it is especially harmful to children, the elderly and anyone with respiratory or cardiovascular disease. Any outdoor fire can also spark an accidental brush, forest or house fire.

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