By Grant Morehead/Portland Bureau of Transportation
One of the joys of living in Sunnyside is our virtual urban forest of trees, especially in the next few months when they’re ablaze with autumn color.
But with autumn comes falling leaves, and leaves can’t just be left on the ground. Not only are fallen leaves a slippery safety hazard to pedestrians, bikes, and cars, they also clog sewer drains and degradeasphalt, both of which take a lot of money to fix downstream. Enter Leaf Day, the Portland Bureau of Transportation’s leaf removal and recycling service for the city’s most tree-lined neighborhoods.
Incorporating suggestions from across Portland, this year’s “2.0” version represents a significant upgrade from last year, offering a lot more value for the $30 fee. For example, sweeper crews will now take any tree leaves, not just those from trees in your parking strip. Just rake them into the street the day before the crews come by.
Because our neighborhood tends to generate a large volume of leaves, we’ll get two Leaf Days, spaced about three weeks apart. Not all of Sunnyside is in a Leaf Service Zone, so to be sure, enter your address in the new Leaf Zone Locator at www.portlandonline.gov/leafday, which will be available when the new Web site is launched this fall. You’ll also be able to find service dates for your address, tips about how to get ready, online payment information, and a streamlined opt-out process if you’d like to manage the street leaves yourself.
One of those Leaf Day tips? Be sure to move your car and any other obstacles off the street on your Leaf Days. Since the sweeper machines can’t fit between and behind cars, you’ll get a better cleaning if they can get right to the curb.