Cape readies to pick up leaves, recycle electronics with expanded programs

Tuesday, October 26, 2010
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Leaves and electronic clutter -- think old TVs and computer monitors -- should be easier to get rid of, thanks to two Cape Girardeau collection programs that are set to be expanded next month, city officials said Monday.

The city's fall leaf program has been expanded to about six weeks instead of four and the schedule has been adjusted to improve timing for residents and collection workers, said Public Works director Tim Gramling. The city has also expanded its "e-cycling" program, which will allow residents to dispose of unwanted electronics at the recycling drop-off center on Southern Expressway, he said.

"Both should make it better for residents," Gramling said.

The fall leaf collection program, which costs the taxpayers about $100,000 a year, is set to start Nov. 1, about 15 days earlier than usual, Gramling said. The zones have also been changed along with the collection order to allow city collection crews to have enough time to pick up the leaves. It can be a daunting task for the 16 full- and eight part-time workers and the six vacuum machines assigned the task.

Some years, Gramling said, leaves pile high and create a "wall of leaves" that line the streets, especially in older parts of town where mature trees blanket lawns with leaves.

"We call those bumper crop years," Gramling said. "Once you rake, your yard can be covered again in a week."

The city is still divided into four zones, but the letters assigned to those zones has changed. Zone A is now the northwest part of town, bordered by Kingshighway and North Cape Rock Drive. Leaf collection for that area begins Nov. 1. Zone B is to the east, with Broadway and North Cape Rock Drive, serving as boundaries. Leaves will be picked up in that zone beginning Nov. 15.

Zone C has boundaries of Kingshighway and Broadway, with leaf collection beginning Nov. 29. Zone D is the southwest part of town, with collection beginning Dec. 16. Zones were changed to accommodate the Thanksgiving Day holiday at Southeast Missouri State University, which will see leaf collection from Nov. 22 to 26, when the cars are largely absent along the streets there.

Gramling stressed that residents should have their leaves raked -- loose, not in bags -- to the curb by the start date for their zone.

Residents can also haul their own leaves to the compost holding site for free. The holding site is on Third Street, across from Kasten Masonry. Hours of operation are from noon to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. The center is open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays.

Compost bags can be bought at city hall, Schnucks and Food Giant. The bags, sold for $6.25 for a bundle of five, can be used for pickup by Public Works by scheduling an appointment at 334-9151.

The city also recently entered into a contract with Midwest Recycling Center of Crystal City to collect electronic waste at the Public Works recycling drop-off at 2007 Southern Expressway. The company will pay $500 a month in rent to be allowed to collect, process and manage materials involving electronic recycling, such as televisions, computer monitors and electric appliances, said company co-owner Tony Krieg.

The company will be on site to help customers take the items from their vehicles, he said. There will only be a fee, $10, for televisions and computer monitors, he said.

smoyers@semissourian.com

388-3642

Pertinent address:

2007 Southern Expressway, Cape Girardeau, MO

Map of pertinent addresses

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