Last autumn, Redwood Falls’ street crew swept 520 tons of leaves off the city streets. That amounts to 2,773 cubic yards of leaves that didn’t have to go into the city’s sewer drains - and into local rivers.


 


Last autumn, Redwood Falls’ street crew swept 520 tons of leaves off the city streets.

That amounts to 2,773 cubic yards of leaves that didn’t have to go into the city’s sewer drains.

In addition to the leaves, another 377 tons of sediment and debris was cleaned up, cutting down on the waste going into the Minnesota and Redwood Rivers.

In addition to keeping the sewer system from blocking up, what impact does the autumn clean up have on local rivers?

By composting the leaves, the city kept 65.23 tons of carbon, 4.39 tons of nitrogen, and .64 tons of phosphorus out of local rivers at this time last year.

Earlier in 2009, during the spring clean up, street crews collected 63 tons (336 cubic yards) of leaves out of the sewers.

Spring clean ups are almost always a lot smaller than autumn ones, due to so many fewer leaves in the streets in spring.

However, in spring the city has to clean up all the sand spread on streets for added traction in the winter.

Last winter, the city spread about 350 tons of sand on Redwood’s streets. According to Jim Doering, Project Coordinator for the city, all of that and more debris was cleaned off the streets.

City crews also vacuum up leaves and debris trapped in storm water catch basins. in the past year, 230 catch basins were vacuumed out, at a cost of about $19.39 each.

The next citywide clean up is scheduled for the week of Nov. 2-6, and if history is any guide another few hundred tons of compost will be collected.

As always, the clean up is for leaves and garden waste only. Tree limbs and branches will not be picked up. 

However, Doering pointed out, any gardeners wanting compost are free to show up at the city site at any time and take all they want.