10/17/2019 4:12:00 PM Vacuum truck starts leaf clean-up in North Branch
This time of year the experts will tell you to keep leaves out of the street so they don’t get crushed by vehicle tires and washed down into area lakes in a big rain event. There is a major exception to this wisdom, though, and that’s residents in the urban areas of North Branch.
For the next couple weeks, the city requests that you rake your leaves into the street so the vacuum truck can collect them and take them to the city compost site.
The city provides a collection truck annually, and it began its rounds Monday this week. The truck does a circuit of sections of North Branch-- until November 1 when the final vacuum collection is scheduled.
The city is divided into a grid starting with everything north and south of Highway 95.
The area west of the freeway is a section-- then the area between the freeway and County Road 30 and then streets in the area east of #30. Each area gets visited three times over the next couple weeks. This week is the first circuit. It starts again October 21 and again October 28.
No branches, tree trimming debris or large vegetation is picked up by the vacuum device. Leaves ideally should be spread along your lot frontage on the of very edge of the street.
A full schedule is on the city website, and posted at city hall, or check with a neighbor who has been in town for a while to learn more how it works.
The Chisago County Soil and Water Conservation District explains that leaves create phosphorus as they decompose. If they are contained in a compost pile or in your garden for mulch, etc. leaves should be fine amendments to the soil. The leaf litter free to end up in local waters along with run-off creates excess phosphorus. According to the SWCD collecting just five bags of leaves keeps a pound of phosphorus from becoming part of stormwater. A pound of nutrients will feed and help produce 1,000 pounds of algae.