By Taylor Welsh. October 23, 2017. BLOWING ROCK, NC — It’s leaf season in the High Country and while residents are admiring the scenic transformation accompanying autumn’s arrival, those same colorful leaves must also be properly raked, piled and disposed of after falling to randomly pile up in yards, ditches and culverts.
Blowing Rock Public Works Director Mike Wilcox explained to Blowing Rock News in a telephone interview on Monday that after a resident or business owner has raked all of his or her leaves, the “ideal” next step is to get them as close to the road as possible without leaving them in a ditch or culvert.
But even more importantly, to help the collection process move more smoothly the veteran Public Works Director added that residents need to perform one simple task.
When you mix leaves with brush, we end up spending more time unclogging the vacuum than we do picking up leaves!
“The biggest problem we face during the collection phase is people mixing their leaf piles with brush,” Wilcox said. “When people do this, we end up spending more time unclogging the vacuum than we do picking up leaves.”
Brush may include twigs, logs, branches, bush clippings and other medium to large sized foliage.
The leaves in Blowing Rock, Boone and other surrounding towns are rapidly falling — aided by inclement weather — which prompts Wilcox to send out collection trucks as soon as possible. However, because of the current stormy weather conditions, he said the Town will not begin the collection process until around Friday, Oct. 27 or the start of next week, starting Oct. 30.
With three trucks collecting leaves and brush separately—using a vacuum for leaves and a chipper for brush—Wilcox noted that he also has a contractor helping to accelerate the process of covering the four separate zones in Blowing Rock.
The town will collect leaves in numerical order, from Zone 1, 2, 3 and finally 4, Wilcox said.
“We urge all residents to help us out and separate the brush from the leaves. It makes our job that much harder if we have to stop and unclog the vacuums and separate the piles ourselves. The longer we have to collect leaves, the higher the probability of leaves being carried away by the wind,” Wilcox said.
This could result in leaves not being collected and placing the repetitive burden of raking the leaves and piling them back on the side of the road for the next collection date.
Although there are two ways to amass leaf piles—either placing the leaves in large garbage bags or simply piling them—Wilcox said both are acceptable.
For additional information on leaf collection, contact the Blowing Rock Public Works department at (828) 295-5200.