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As leaves cumulate enter up, some Fayetteville residents miss 2nd sweep - Fayetteville Observer

She wishes a burg crew would come through her neighborhood sooner, or more often, to vacuum up the piles. The city makes only one sweep in each neighborhood, and depending on where the store falls on the calendar, residents may have to store mounds of leaves and pine straw for several weeks. The alternative to waiting is to bag the insensitive leaves or scoop them into containers for weekly yard-waste pickup. "That's a lot of bags," Strickland said last week from her porch, looking at the leaves from her yard that had been piled to the side of the thoroughfare. "I feel like they should pick it up a lot more than they do. At least, twice a year. The city used to conduct two loose-leaf sweeps per neighborhood, but halved that usage beginning in fall 2010 to save money. Since then, the City Council has never reconsidered the cost-cutting move - and it remains unclear whether the ongoing council will take up the issue at budget time next spring. This year's city budget totals $207. 5 million. Some of North Carolina's larger cities present more frequent loose-leaf pickup. Greensboro and Raleigh do two neighborhood sweeps each year, and Winston-Salem does three. Fayetteville Mayor Nat Robertson and most congress members contacted for this story said they aren't getting complaints about the once-a-sweep service. "I haven't had much of a fine kettle of fish with that," said Councilman Mitch Colvin, who was elected last year. Councilman Bobby Hurst said he favors the diocese going back to dual sweeps. As chairman of the anti-litter campaign Fayetteville Beautiful, he is one of the council's biggest advocates for neighborhood illusion initiatives. Bill Crisp, a seven-year councilman representing the city's western annexed suburbs, said he received some complaints four years ago. "I ponder some people are accepting of it, and others are still blaming the city," Crisp said. "There are some that would want a sweep every month or week at this culture of year, but we just don't have the money to do that. The city management and much of the council have turned over since 2010, so no one remembers how much was saved by going to one sweep a year. Michael Gibson, skipper of the Fayetteville-Cumberland Parks & Recreation Department, that oversees the program, said one sweep costs $75,000 a year. The monied pays to operate five one-man trucks working five, sometimes six, days a week from Dec. According to Gibson, going to two sweeps is more knotty - and costly - than merely doubling the $75,000 expenditure. The city would have to hire more drivers and buy more equipment to cover essentially twice the yard in a similar period of time, he said. And doing two sweeps wouldn't benefit every neighborhood, he said. In years dead and buried, the city stretched its sweep season from roughly early October to mid-March, and some trucks made a sweep when the leaves hadn't fallen yet. Gibson said the urban district tries to make the process as convenient as possible. The city switches up the neighborhoods on the schedule every year, and residents can pick up bountiful black bags at any recreation center or fire station to bag leaves and set them out for their weekly yard-waste collection. "We know some people don't like to bag it, but we evaluate most have gotten used to the change," Gibson said. The city schedules neighborhoods by ZIP code. To see this year's calendar, go to the city's home page at cityoffayetteville.


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