Crews from the Public Works Street Maintenance Division are working through the northern section of the City (Area 3) this week as they wind down roadside loose leaf collection for this season. This second round of the citywide Loose Leaf Collection Program was delayed due to back-to-back snow storms in January, causing collections to be three weeks behind. This is because crews who collect leaves are the same ones who pre-treat, salt/sand and plow roads during snow storms, and the same trucks are used, although with different attachments.
This season’s Loose Leaf Program began its first collection the week of November 27, and each of the three areas of the city had one collection between then and New Year’s Day. The second and final collection for all areas was scheduled to begin January 2; however, winter storms Grayson and Inga prevented the second collection from starting as scheduled. The second collection for Area 1 (southern Newport News) began the week of January 22, and took longer than the expected one week. Collection in Area 2 (central) began the week of February 5 and crews began the second collection in Area 3 this week.
The three-week lag was a result of the same equipment and staff needed for leaf collection as well as snow removal. Snow removal equipment must be mounted on trucks in preparation for a storm. After the event, the equipment must be removed and cleaned. In addition, the trucks have to be cleaned prior to resuming leaf collection. As a result, the week of January 1 was spent on snow preparation and removal due to snowstorm Grayson. The week of January 8 was spent on snow cleanup and preparation to resume leaf collection. The week of January 15 was spent on snow preparation, removal and cleanup due to snowstorm Inga.