Saanich public works crews are expected to collect some 400 truckloads of dry foliage this fall from nearly 8,000 yards.
The annual curbside leaf collection program begins next week (Oct. 28), giving residents an opportunity to dispose of their raked leaves in an environmentally conscious way.
The municipality retrofits four garbage trucks each year to collect and mulch the leaves on private properties.
“It’s been going on at least 20 years. It was brought in to help with the diversion (of the leaves) from going to the landfill,” said Glenn Hamilton, foreman with Saanich solid waste services.
Saanich uses the mulched leaves to enrich the soil in parks, the Cedar Hill Golf Course and allotment gardens around the municipality. The municipality also has partnerships with such organizations as the Horticulture Centre of the Pacific to receive mulch, he added.
Residents are asked to put leaves in rows or piles no more than one metre from the edge of the road. They should be clear of roads, sidewalks, bike lanes and catch basins, and give crew unobstructed access.
Public works has split the municipality into three areas, each of which will get two one-week windows for leaves to be collected. Rural Saanich is not serviced by the program.
Residents who have more than just leaves to divert – tree needles, grass clippings, pruning, garden waste – can drop those items off for free at the public works yard, 1040 McKenzie Ave.
For dates and other information on the leaf collection program, visit saanich.ca/services/garbage/leaf.html.