Leaf Vacuum Trucks Working Late In Cedar Rapids
By Chris Earl, Reporter
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa - Amid falling temperatures and falling leaves, the constant hum of the leaf vacuum trucks will fill the air throughout the weekdays and a portion of the weeknights.
"Every year, we've had one day or two where all of the leaves fall at once and we're kind of struggling throughout this week to catch up," said Megan Murphy with the Solid Waste & Recycling Department with the city of Cedar Rapids. "We had the big rain. The leaves were ready to fall and we've had people get out and raking them to the curb."
The volume of fallen foliage is staggering -- and quite heavy. The city reports that, back on October 16, city residents had left out 84 tons of leaves for curb collection. This week, that number is now more than 202 tons.
A solution, Murphy said, is to use the city's ten trucks for leaf collection in a specific area.
"We work until about 8 p.m.," said Murphy. "We don't want to work later than that because kids are trying to sleep and the leaf truck going by doesn't really help anything and the crews need time to recover as well."
Murphy said crews are behind some pockets of the city on each neighborhood's collection day. On Thursday, the Bowman Woods area, on the city's northeast side, was filled with leaf piles and the vacuums hauling in the yard waste.
These piles the natural result of a warm start to the week with thousands of Cedar Rapidians using those rarely-worked raking muscles.
"The last two nights, I spent two or three hours each night, raking ferociously," said Linda Cullen, who lives near Old Marion Road as a leaf truck cleaned off her curb.
The next collection area will be the southeast side, where most of the neighborhoods have garbage and recycling collection on Fridays. Murphy said the hope is to catch up on leaf collection by early next week.
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