Moscatelli provides update on leaf collection in borough

Weather a major factor in delays; three pickups still planned

Leaf collection, in particular when to gather leaves and where to stash them once the work is done, is a primary concern for homeowners this time of year. Borough Commissioner John Moscatelli provided an update on the process so far, as well as what residents can expect in the near future as the weather turns colder.

“We officially started our annual collection on Nov. 12. As we have done for many years now, we provide leaf collection for six weeks, during which we guarantee each address will receive three collections. We have five to six leaf trucks out each weekday collecting for 10 hours a day, and on Saturdays we clear the business district and public parking lots before going back to trash routes.

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“Last year, we collected about 7 million pounds of leaves, which is major effort for a town with so many trees. This is a budgetary compromise designed to give sufficient time to collect leaves at a reasonable impact on the budget. Putting more resources on leaf collection would entail a significant investment in additional large trucks, more leafers, and more manpower.

“We do not, and have not in the past, guarantee when the three collections will occur. Factors such as the volume of leaves on the ground, the availability of temporary labor, the reliability of our equipment, and most significantly, the weather, all play a significant part in how quickly we can get through town,” Moscatelli said in an email exchange with The Sun.

At the Oct. 23 board of commissioners meeting, Moscatelli said the first round of leaf collection, originally slated to begin on Oct. 29, would be pushed back one week to Nov. 5 due to continued mild weather and a dearth of fallen leaves. At that time, he stated the usual three collections were still part of the plan for this year. Collection was then delayed another week, but, according to the borough’s website, is scheduled to be completed the week of Dec. 17.

If you are among those who are wondering why collection hasn’t proceeded as planned, count Moscatelli in your corner.

“I, too, have been frustrated with our pace of collection this year, but we have had a great deal of rain, and even snow, to contend with. We also had a couple of storms early in November that caused a lot of leaves to fall all at once. Since then, the rain as hardly let up and continues to slow us down. Wet leaves are much harder to collect, and we have to dump the trucks based on weight, not volume, and wet leaves are much heavier,” he said.

Updates are posted daily on the borough website, www.haddonfieldnj.org, and on its Facebook page. Moscatelli suggested the best way for residents to plan for collection is to put their leaves out a couple days before the trucks reach their trash route. However, they should take care to place the leaves intended for collection in the proper manner.

If a resident or their landscaper places leaves in the road in violation of Chapter 195–4 of Ordinance 2018–13, which states that no solid waste whatsoever shall be placed or raked onto any public roadway, a ticket for $50 may be issued for a first offense within a five-year period. Second and subsequent offenses would require a court appearance.

“We remain committed to three collections, and are hoping the weather becomes more seasonable allowing us to move more quickly,” he stated.

BOB HERPEN
BOB HERPEN
Former radio broadcaster, hockey writer, Current: main beat reporter for Haddonfield, Cherry Hill and points beyond.
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