The city of Cape Girardeau has had a leaf-collection program for a long time. This is a service not offered in many other cities and towns in Southeast Missouri. In the past, residents could rake leaves to their curb for pickup, but timing was based on a zoning method. This meant that some leaf piles were collected very early in the season -- before all leaves had fallen -- while others were stacked curbside for weeks at a time.
After hearing complaints throughout the years, the city purchased an automated truck last spring that will allow the city to make pickups multiple times throughout the city.
The old way relied on six vacuum machines that required the work of up to 16 full- and eight part-time employees.
The new truck could save the city as much as $50,000 a year, according to officials.
Residents should rake their leaves into piles no more than three feet from the street, not mixing in limbs, and not placing leaf piles in areas blocked by vehicles or in areas near trees, mailboxes or other obstructions.
The city also will offer a free drop-off period from Nov. 5 through Dec. 21.
City leaders should be commended for finding a solutions to address residents' concerns. Here's hoping the new process works well.