The search for a curbside leaf pickup provider will begin soon in St. Joseph County. Private companies have been invited to bid on a county-wide leaf pickup contract for this year and next. It calls for leaf pickup trucks to make at least two visits per fall to each residence.
If the search for a leaf pickup partner is successful, some feel the county would be more likely to impose a ban on leaf burning.
“I think some people are concerned that if we did have a leaf burning ban then we should offer the citizens a remedy to solve the leaf problem,” says Commissioner Dave Thomas (D) of St. Joseph County's 2nd District. “So I think people that might be sitting on the fence, wanting a burn ban would be more comfortable if we have a leaf pickup program.”
The bids will be due on April 16, and they should allow the county to determine if it can afford to re-instate a leaf pickup program.
Much like plowing, the leaf pickup program would be paid for with county funds, as opposed to homeowners being billed directly for the service.
“It would be a good thing if it happens,” said Commissioner Thomas. “It’s good for the environment.”