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Mechanical Leaf Collection

W. K. Lis

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Location
Toronto, ON, CAN, Terra, Sol, Milky Way
Etobicoke/York Collection and Scarborough Leaf Collection

From link.

Mechanical Leaf Collection back in 2018 was scheduled from Monday, November 12 to Saturday, December 8, 2018.

Mechanical Leaf Collection.jpg


This SERVICE, paid by our taxes, should be expanded to ALL parts of the City of Toronto. Contact your councillor.
 
I take care of my parents house, they have four large maple trees, last year i couldn't be bothered to rake a billion leaves, so i mulched them up with my lawn mower, and mother nature blew away the left over leaves for me. The grass looked just as good as it did before when i used to rake the leaves.
 
I take care of my parents house, they have four large maple trees, last year i couldn't be bothered to rake a billion leaves, so i mulched them up with my lawn mower, and mother nature blew away the left over leaves for me. The grass looked just as good as it did before when i used to rake the leaves.

Good a plan as any. We are surrounded with a variety of hardwoods and I mulch what I can and let nature do the rest. The only problem I have is with oak, since they tend to drop late and are quite 'waxy' and slow to decompose. They can leave quite a mat that can choke new growth in the spring.
 
Just let the street sweepers out more often in the autumn.

What street sweepers? The ones Miller bought have hit their 12 year end-of-life and not been replaced.

Step #1 would be purchasing street sweepers.
 
What street sweepers? The ones Miller bought have hit their 12 year end-of-life and not been replaced.

Step #1 would be purchasing street sweepers.

We need street sweepers. Not just for dust, sand, soil, animal droppings, leaves or tree twigs, but screws, nails, trash, and the occasional dead raccoon or bird or discarded carbon-tax stickers.
 
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I oppose mechanical leaf collection as a publicly funded service, anywhere in the City.

To me there are just so many higher priorities, this is not a 'top ten' as to where money should go.

Not to mention the requisite equipment is polluting, you really don't need to remove all the leaves off your property.

You can use a mower to mulch them, as noted.

But I would rather see more 'naturalized' landscapes, especially under big trees where shade will preclude a veggie garden or rose bushes or such.

Instead, just put some native shrubs, wildflowers and ferns down, and let nature naturally fertilize the space, you can actually direct any leaves off of pathways, or off a patio into the natural area and there is no harm.

In older forests, leaf litter can sometimes reach 3ft in spots and it creates wonderful habitats and visual interest.

For the most part though, if you have a natural area of your garden, microorganisms and worms and the like will take care of the problem for you by mid-spring.

If someone insists on have a 2-acre treed golf course for a yard, they should have to eat the cost of dealing w/that.

I'd much rather the money went to transit, public realm, libraries, community centres, parks, general infrastructure, and addressing poverty/homelessness.
 
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I oppose mechanical leaf collection as a publicly funded service, anywhere in the City.

To me there are just so many higher priorities, this is not a 'top ten' as to where money should go.

Not to mention the requisite equipment is polluting, you really don't need to remove all the leaves off your property.

You can use a mower to mulch them, as noted.

But I would rather see more 'naturalized' landscapes, especially under big trees where shade will preclude a veggie garden or rose bushes or such.

Instead, just put some native shrubs, wildflowers and ferns down, and let nature naturally fertilize the space, you can actually direct any leaves off of pathways, or off a patio into the natural area and there is no harm.

In older forests, leaf litter can sometimes reach 3ft in spots and it creates wonderful habitats and visual interest.

For the most part though, if you have a natural area of your garden, microorganisms and worms and the like will take care of the problem for you by mid-spring.

If someone insists on have a 2-acre treed golf course for a yard, they should have to eat the cost of dealing w/that.

I'd much rather the money went to transit, public realm, libraries, community centres, parks, general infrastructure, and addressing poverty/homelessness.
Mechanical collection saves the city money because it heads off damage to vulnerable sewer sections.

If there wasn’t mechanical collection they’d still need to bring trucks in to haul away thousands of leaf bags.

Suspect a major reason why the whole city isn’t collected is that the cost, complexity and time needed to vacuum up everything couldn‘t be completed during the short window.
 
Mechanical collection saves the city money because it heads off damage to vulnerable sewer sections.

If there wasn’t mechanical collection they’d still need to bring trucks in to haul away thousands of leaf bags.

Suspect a major reason why the whole city isn’t collected is that the cost, complexity and time needed to vacuum up everything couldn‘t be completed during the short window.

I didn't mention, but I will add here for clarity, I oppose any leaf collection by the City unless residents pay dearly by the bag.

It is not an ecologically sound process.

The leaves are good for the soil, people are disposing of them out of habit, rather than utility.

I favour paying for all garbage removal (at greater than current rates) and charging someone for recycling too.

If you want to throw out something perfectly good, that's doing you no harm, that is a peculiar luxury and time-waste which the City need not subsidize in any form.
 
While I am not in favour of 'private' leaf collection by the City I think the City DOES have the responsibility to ensure the streets are cleared and from the City website that is what they appear to do:

Mechanical Leaf Collection program is a limited service designed to supplement yard waste collection in a few areas in Etobicoke and Scarborough with heavy leaf accumulations and in neighbourhoods with roadside ditches to prevent ponding, flooding and road icing as a result of blocked culverts and catch basins.

Using specialized equipment, City crews collect leaves on select streets that collect on the road allowance and public edge of the roadway during the program period.


I assume the leaves collected are composted by the City.

In my (downtown) area the City does (rather poorly!) sweep the streets and in fall this does collect leaves and some years they bring in a front-end loader to scrape them up too.

See: https://www.toronto.ca/services-pay.../road-maintenance/mechanical-leaf-collection/
 
While I am not in favour of 'private' leaf collection by the City I think the City DOES have the responsibility to ensure the streets are cleared and from the City website that is what they appear to do:

Mechanical Leaf Collection program is a limited service designed to supplement yard waste collection in a few areas in Etobicoke and Scarborough with heavy leaf accumulations and in neighbourhoods with roadside ditches to prevent ponding, flooding and road icing as a result of blocked culverts and catch basins.

Using specialized equipment, City crews collect leaves on select streets that collect on the road allowance and public edge of the roadway during the program period.


I assume the leaves collected are composted by the City.

In my (downtown) area the City does (rather poorly!) sweep the streets and in fall this does collect leaves and some years they bring in a front-end loader to scrape them up too.

See: https://www.toronto.ca/services-pay.../road-maintenance/mechanical-leaf-collection/

The challenge here is that those ditches are almost entirely in-lieu of sidewalks; if the ditches were filled in, and sidewalks added, with a tree-lined, level, boulevard where space permits, the problem of accumulation blocking culverts would be moot.

I would add that if there was a desire to keep drainage like this (and sidewalks could be added either side of what is now a ditch/swale, that I would support putting in what amounts to weeping tile, socked, and covered over w/ballast, thus eliminating any clogging concern more cost effectively.

For leaves that fall in large numbers of the road surface, I think conventional street cleaning should suffice; though Toronto's procedures around that need to get a whole lot better, just as with with winter plowing.

Cars need to vacate a street ahead of the plow/cleaner (there should be ample notice by text/email/vmail, and/or face a friendly tow (to a nearby legal spot), so that the entire street can be done properly in one pass.
 
Have noticed that the leaves in the street gutters on my street disappeared. It could be the street sweepers or the wind.

Of course, if the wind does end up blowing the leaves onto the parks around the bushes, the city does end up raking/mulching/collecting the leaves anyways. So as the machines move from one park to another, why don't they just sweep or collect the leaves in the gutter along the way.
 

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