Winter is coming. Leaves are falling. SW residents are coping.
While the City of Portland plans to eliminate fees for hauling away leaves this year, there are no plans to bring back the popular "Leaf Depot" at Gabriel Park.
And since the City has never offered leaf removal services south of Council Crest and Portland Heights, the vast majority of Southwest Portland residents will still have to use those yard debris rolling bins, oversized brown bags or do-it-yourself techniques fo dispose of or re-use the leaves that started falling a few weeks ago.
If the trees on your property drop more leaves than your curbside service can handle, and you're not of a mind to use them for soil enrichment, you can haul them to one of Metro's waste transfer stations in Northwest Portland or Oregon City. That will cost you a minimum of 20 dollars a load. Metro's recycling line (503-234-3000) can tell you where the nearest private leaf depot is located. The closest one is about ten miles away.
The leaf depot at Gabriel Park took in 275 tons of leaves in 2010 but was shut down by Amanda Fritz, the Commissioner in charge of PBOT at the time, due to budget cutbacks.
Dylan Rivera, PBOT Public Information Officer explains in an e mail there are no plans to revive the operation in the north parking lot at Gabriel Park, "The weekly curbside yard debris pickup makes it even easier for people to manage their leaves through their curbside hauler. Haulers may charge for extra yard debris bags," he typed.
Why is most of SW Portland excluded from the now "free" leaf removal services provided by the City? According to PBOT, the 52
leaf districts chosen for "free" leaf removal service are in neighborhoods where there is "a higher than average number of trees and amounts of fallen leaves".
Last year leaf removal operations and administration cost $1.1 million. Rivera says the City expects to save money by not having to run the fee system but will not see any money coming in from the $15 fee to single residences and $65 fee to multi-family residences.
The first leaf removal day is November 9. For more information check out HYPERLINK "http://portlandoregon.gov/leafday" portlandoregon.gov/leafday.