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Oct 3, 2012 9:01 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

Southampton Town Leaf Program Continue In 2012

Oct 3, 2012 9:51 AM

The majority of Southampton Town residents once again will be required to bag their leaves if they want them to be picked up and disposed of by town highway crews this fall.

The program instituted last fall will remain in place this year: Only senior citizens over the age of 73 or those with approved special needs because of a handicap or medical condition will be able to deposit loose leaves at the curbside near their homes for collection by town crews. Also, the bags must be paper, not plastic.

Residents who cannot afford to purchase the paper bags the town requires may get bags free of charge at the Town Highway Department headquarters. Other residents will be expected to purchase paper leaf bags from local hardware stores, where they range in price from $2.50 to $3.50 for a bundle of five bags.

No bags of leaves may be placed at curbside before November 1. Highway crews are tentatively scheduled to start making rounds on November 19, although that might change depending on the weather.

“We’ll be watching the weather and might hold back a week or so,” Highway Superintendant Alex Gregor said this week. “But it’s usually around Thanksgiving when everything falls.”

All residents also will be allowed to dump loose leaves themselves at the town’s transfer stations during the leaf pick-up. Residents can get vouchers from the Highway Department to give to hired landscapers that will allow them to dump leaves at the town facilities without charge.

Residents can dump their leaves for free, but because of town policies of internal charge-backs, the Highway Department cannot—an issue that Mr. Gregor and the Town Board have butted heads over in the last couple years. Last month, the Town Board adopted a resolution ordering Mr. Gregor to instruct all town Highway Department employees to dump any leaves they pick up anywhere in the town at a town-operated facility.

Mr. Gregor said that the edict by the Town Board was a response to his challenging their decision to have the town Sanitation Department charge the Highway Department for the leaves it deposits during the townwide clean-up. While it’s only a small portion of the total, he said his crews have typically deposited their leaves, free of charge, at dump sites owned by Sag Harbor Village when picking up leaves in the northeastern reaches of the town, or at the private property of some farmers who ask for the leaves to mix into their compost. Mr. Gregor said it was a practice that was begun by his predecessor, Bill Masterson, which saved enormous amounts of time for his crews.

“From Mt. Misery, it takes almost an hour round trip to get to the North Sea transfer and back,” he said. “It takes 15 minutes to go to Sag Harbor, where we were taking them for free. We had farmers that wanted them, a nursery that wants them—but they tell me no.”

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Last year they said they would not pick loose leaves and they did. Is it going to be another year of don't listen to what I say, watch what I do instead. The idea of bagging leaves is stupid if you are going to go around picking them up anyway. And in some areas unrealistic in relation to the abundant volume of leaves.
By V.Tomanoku (790), southampton on Oct 7, 12 9:22 AM