Raleigh leaf collection program up for debate

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- Raleigh's popular leaf collection program is now on the chopping block.

City council members got their first look at four options after hundreds of people expressed concerns about collection efforts.

The options were presented at a budget work session on Monday.

For decades, Raleigh residents have been able to rake or blow their leaves to the curb where the city's vacuum trucks will come suck them up.

"They're due to come through here February 11th through the 18th which has passed," said Morgan Grimes, who lives not far from Five Points.

On Monday, he had a pile of leaves on the berm in front of his home, which was where they are supposed to be.

"If they could tell me 'Oh it's going to be a month,' I'd go ahead and bag it up myself but I'm afraid to do that and then tomorrow they come and suck them up," he said. "It's a great service to the community. If they took that away, we'd have to end up baggint them up, which costs the consumer money for bags."

Jay Joiner lives in Southwest Raleigh and attended the work session Monday night.

"The city has somehow become unable to get around and picking them up fast enough so I can't really see what has changed so much," Joiner said.

One of the four options that were laid out would require you to bag the leaves yourself and leave them by the curb.

"There are a lot of elderly folks, myself included, that would have trouble pushing tons of leaving leaves to the curb," he said. "They were talking about putting them in bags. I did that once and it was like in 40 bags or something like that."

That option would also mean an increase in your monthly solid waste fees.

"People are not going to like that and one of the problems with that is that it hits everyone with an additional fee when some people might not be using the service at all," Joiner said.

Another option is to add additional, full-time crews to the existing program.

Nothing is expected to be decided until a budget is passed in July.
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