Leaf pickup crews get back to work in St. Joe Co.

St. Joseph County’s leaf pickup program resumed today—as promised.

The curbside pickups made today, make up for those missed last fall.

It’s one thing to hear on the news that the leaf pickup crews would return to action today, it’s another to actually hear the roar of the vacuum rounding the corner.

“Well, we know they were going to start today, we weren’t sure if they’d be here of if they were even going to get to us,” said Clay Township resident Pat Guzzi.

GreenWorld had multiple trucks and vacuum units in the neighborhood north of Swanson School.

“I saw the trucks in the neighborhood and wow! I took off with my rake and I did a lot of work,” said Clay Township homeowner Barbara Toth.

Barbara wasn’t alone. The sucking sound seemed to serve as a wakeup call for many of the rake gripping residents who ran to their yards.

Residents—perhaps lulled to sleep by the constant ‘cry wolf’ pickup plans announced all fall—were caught by surprise when spring brought the real thing.

“Just about another 30 minutes I’ll be ready for him,” said Clay Township resident Ray Davidson, standing next to his back pack leaf blower. “The snow just got off; I was putting it off until we got a nice day with no wind.”

GreenWorld worker Shawn Barrett today said he did not come across a single pile that he couldn’t handle with his vacuum hose. “So you got wet leaves under there and it is a little bit harder to pick those up, so you usually, you either just use your hefty rake or you kick them with your boot and that’ll suck right up.”

As pile after pile disappeared—so too did a lot of hard feelings on the part of residents.

Pat Guzzi said she was mad, but “I get over it quickly, now that they’ve picked it up, I just hope the grass isn’t dead under there.”

This was the first day back in business for a leaf pickup program that will continue through the middle of May. Now through April 30th, crews will concentrate in Clay Township east of SR 933 and north of Cleveland, and in Harris Township, north of SR 23.

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