2008-11-13 / Front Page

N.B. to continue leaf collection through Dec.

BY JENNIFER AMATO Staff Writer

North Brunswick Township Department of Public Works (DPW) will be collecting leaf bags through the end of December.

PHOTOS BY CHRIS KELLY staff Above: North Brunswick Department of Public Works employee Joe DePasquale stuffs the back of a garbage truck with bags of collected leaves. Below: The Department of Public Works employees collect about 3 million pounds of leaves from October to December off of residential streets. PHOTOS BY CHRIS KELLY staff Above: North Brunswick Department of Public Works employee Joe DePasquale stuffs the back of a garbage truck with bags of collected leaves. Below: The Department of Public Works employees collect about 3 million pounds of leaves from October to December off of residential streets. Residents are advised to rake their fallen leaves into biodegradable bags that are available at the department on Quarry Lane. No brush, sticks, grass, hedges or plant clippings will be accepted.

For Tuesday automated garbage collection, the leaf pickup dates are the week of Dec. 1 and Dec. 22; for Thursday pickup, the weeks are Nov. 17, Dec. 8 and Dec. 22; for Friday pickup, the weeks are Nov. 24, Dec. 15 and Dec. 22.

Residents can place the bags, which must be lighter than 40 pounds, curbside on any day throughout the week.

A three-man crew goes out from about 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. every day, even in inclement weather. The township is divided into three zones, and the workers go to each street in the area from Monday to Thursday, and then do a sweep of the entire zone again on Friday.

"We are proud of the employees picking up a lot of material, working under extreme conditions at times," said Glenn Sandor, DPW director.

So far this season, about 45,000 bags have been collected from the town's oak, fruit, poplar, sugar maple, sycamore and sweet gum trees, with the heaviest part of the season occurring later this month.

The average is about three garbage truck loads per day, or about 31 cubic yards of leaves. There are about 1,500 tons, or 3 million pounds, of leaves collected per year.

"Especially being on the stormwater management division, this helps keep the leaves out of the catch basins so we don't have flooding," said employee Jeff Levy.

Bob Selover, a supervisor at the department, said leaf collection is important because of storm-water issues, because dense leaves can kill grass and because recycling detracts from landfill space.

The leaves are then taken to the Middlesex County Quarry Lane Recycling Center/Leaf Composting Facility, where they are turned into mulch that residents can get for free in the springtime for their personal gardens. Normally, the bins are restocked eight to 10 times during the summer, Selover said, because of the high demand for mulch.

"You can use the leaf material to benefit certain types of garden plants," said Doug Robertson, DPW assistant director and municipal storm-water program coordinator.

Any type of brush can be cut and tied into 4-foot, 40-pound bundles and will be picked up by the DPW by appointment. The branches and tree limbs are also brought to the county facility and will be recycled into wood mulch for resident use.

Christmas trees are also recyclable into wood chips, ornament-free. Their pickup follows the leaf and grass schedule.

"People have issues with killing trees, so these trees, afterward, are given back and are turned into mulch, so they're not just thrown away," Selover said.

For more information, contact the DPW at 732-297-1134.

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