Remember “Don’t Bag It?”

The program, which saved the landfills from being inundated with grass clippings, was a great accomplishment. Now the City has broadened “Don’t Bag It” to leaves. Raked and bagged leaves will not be collected with regular trash, but their disposal will be easier than dealing with all those grass clippings.

The City will collect bags of leaves once a month with the brush and bulky object pickup. If you are unsure of your pickup date, call the Sanitation Department’s Customer Service office at 670-8221.

Put your leaves out with the brush, but separate from the bulky objects. Even though both items are picked up on the same day, different trucks are used, so remember to keep the organics together.

The Sanitation Department also asks that you wait until one week before your pickup date to put your items out for collection. If your leaves just can’t wait, take them to the same collection sites that accepted grass clippings this summer.

The locations are: Bachman Transfer Station (Dry Gulch), 9500 Harry Hines (670-6150); Oak Cliff Transfer Station, 4610 S. Westmoreland (670-1927); and McCommas Landfill, 5100 Youngblood (670-0977).

Dallas residents generate about 200,000 tons of yard waste annually. It’s the second largest refuse item we produce (15 percent to paper’s 41 percent). Here’s the breakdown on that 200,000 tons: 50 percent grass clippings, 30 percent leaves, and 20 percent brush. Instead of sending all this organic matter to the landfills, let’s put it to good use.

If you shred the leaves, you can compost them. After a summer of grass clippings, your compost pile will welcome the nutrients that leaves provide. If you are new to composting, there are several how-to books and articles available at your local library or gardening center.

BFI Waste Systems was awarded the contract to collect our brush and leaves and maintain the City’s composting program. The finished compost will be used in area parks and negotiations are underway between BFI and several retail stores to market this compost in their gardening centers.

Carlos Rovelo, recycling coordinator for the City, will speak to the National Recycling Congress about the “Don’t Bag It” program. With everyone’s cooperation the program can continue to be productive.

That 41 percent of paper waste mentioned above is 10 percent newspaper. The City’s newspaper collection bins are catching on.

Some new locations include: First Community Church, 6255 E. Mockingbird near Abrams; Meadows Foundation, 500 Liberty St. at Swiss; and Harry Stone Park, 2403 Millmar near Ferguson.

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