Andover Townsman, Andover, MA


April 24, 2014

Leaf collection, compost site sure signs of spring's arrival

Need an extra incentive to do some yard work? Consider this: For the next five weeks, all the leaves you haul to the curb will be taken away for free.

The town’s twice-annual curbside leaf pickup service is now under way.

Through the week of Memorial Day, leaves will be collected at the curb on property owners’ regular trash day. Leaves must be placed in open trash barrels or brown paper leaf compost bags weighing 50 pounds or less. They will be collected by a truck separate from the regular household trash truck.

Branches with no foliage bundled together with rope or tape are allowed in the weekly trash pickup, subject to size limitations; no more than three or four bundles or more than 50 branches in total are allowed.

A fall curbside leaf collection extends five weeks before through one week after Thanksgiving, with no collection the week of the holiday.

Meanwhile, the locks on the Bald Hill Compost Site on High Plain Road have come off for another season. The site opened to residents earlier this month and will remain available through November. Annual stickers are $25.

The site contains rich compost, dubbed by some users as “black gold,” for use on lawns and gardens. Up to two barrels can be taken per day. Officials say many lawn and garden shops charge $35 for comparable compost.

Residents can also drop off their leaves and grass clippings at the site, eitherdumping them in barrels or disposing of them in paper compost bags available at hardware stores. Yard waste may be deposited at Bald Hill any time during the summer and fall through the end of November. Friendly volunteers monitor the site to guarantee no illegal or commercial dumping occurs.

The site is open 22 hours a week. The operating hours have recently changed; they are Wednesdays and Fridays from noon to 3 p.m., and Saturdays and Sundays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Stickers are available in the Plant & Facilities office at the Town Offices, 36 Bartlet St. Residents must show proof of vehicle registration to obtain a sticker. Stickers may not be transferred and only vehicles registered to Andover residents and that are less than 10,000 pounds of gross vehicle weight are eligible to use the site. For more information, call 978-623-8280.

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