Burlington wrapping up leaf pickup

Published: Nov. 17, 2023 at 6:05 PM EST
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BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - Friday was the last day of leaf pickup in Burlington. City officials expect to collect more than 100 tons of leaves which will be composted.

“We do enjoy this time of year and hopefully we are going to get it done before the rain comes in,”) said Rick Sener, who along with his wife was busy Friday racing to finish clearing up their neighbor’s yard. While many people may consider fall yard maintenance a chore, the Seners say they look forward to it. “We used to have a landscaping business years ago, so we have the equipment to do it -- backpack blowers, hand blowers, and rakes and so forth, and the energy. We are in our early 60s and we are still at it.”

The city of Burlington wrapped up its leaf pickup for the year on Friday, leaving massive piles in parks like Oakledge and Leddy which will be taken to Green Mountain Compost.

Last year, residents composted 150 tons of leaves, and it’s clear Burlington is on its way to another big year.

“It’s really important to recognize -- one, these leaves are getting turned into compost and becoming soil and we are keeping organic matter out of the lake. It is really important for folks to recognize this is an ecological benefit to keeping phosphorus out of Lake Champlain,” said Burlington Public Works Director Chapin Spencer.

However, there are still many trees with the leaves clinging on or just starting to fall. Burlington’s McNeil Generating Station also offers a service for Queen City residents where they can take leaves free of charge. “It’s just a really popular community service we can provide, and we are happy to do it,” said Betsy Lesnikoski, Burlington Electric’s chief forester.

They accept compostable bags of leaves which will be sent to CSWD to be composted. They also take larger waste like untreated pallets which can be used at McNeil. “We’re taking urban wood waste that would normally go to a landfill, possibly decompose, and produce methane. We are using it to produce sustainable electricity,” Lesnikoski said.

Burlington has an ordinance banning leaf blowers producing more than 65 decibels.

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