When Kasey and I walk we often stop to talk to neighbors when we see them working in their yards. Usually the conversation revolves around the weather, dogs, or how badly the Chiefs are doing. However since the beginning of 2012 when the new waste management contracts went into place for Lenexa the most common complaint is about having to use paper bags for leaves and yard waste. Since we are at the last weekly pickups before the reduced or zero pickup Winter season, I thought I’d better share some information.
So I dug into the reasons why they are needed, and here’s the best explanation in a video:
As you can see this is a far better way to compost than any home composting operation, and it ultimately saves space and extends the life of the Johnson County Landfill. You can also get some of the great compost for free if you need it for your yard or garden.
I think one of the reasons people complain about the paper bags is the cost of them compared to plastic. I expect that those costs will drop over time as more outlets make the bags “loss leaders” to bring in customers and to advertise. After tons more of them are sold in bulk the initial capital investments for the bag manufacturing gear will get fully paid for and depreciated, and the price wars on them will really start; but until we get there I recommend that you just wait for sales of the 25 packs and buy 2-3 bundles then.
Another reason is that they are a bit harder to manage & fill than plastic but if you don’t overfill them, and use a collapsible hoop funnel then things get much easier. I highly recommend using one of these:
There is some seasonality to how much they will pick up, and it also varies between services.
Below are the schedules:
Spring through early Fall, March through September:
- Deffenbaugh: 6 bags or bundles* per week
- Superior: 4 bags or bundles per week
Late Fall, October and November:
- Deffenbaugh: 10 bags or bundles per week
- Superior: 8 bags or bundles per week
Winter: December, January, February:
- Deffenbaugh: 6 bags or bundles on the third full week of the month only
- Superior: no yard waste pick ups, or no bags.
The amount of bags and the Winter 3rd full week pickups are reasons why you see folks who have large trees and lots of yard waste using Deffenbaugh instead of Superior; just to be clear it only applies within the City of Lenexa, most other places Deffenbaugh does not pick up at all during Winter months.
One last word on leaves: I’ve seen some neighbors try to cheat by dumping leaves into the creek, and that’s totally wrong — it causes high potassium and low Oxygen, which can kill the fingerling fish and small fry in these creeks. Rotting piles of leaves are also sources for molds, slimes, germs, fungi, and other allergens that neighborhood kids and pets will end up playing in, and it’s also against city regulations. Putting your leaves in culverts and creeks and can clog storm drains downstream which can in turn flood houses. (This I know well because I helped clean out the flooded basement of a friend at the bottom of Noland road a few years back, I left with a broken thumb after slipping on the muddy stairs but we got the job done.) So please have a thought for your neighbors and don’t put those leaves in the street drains or creeks.
*bundles of sticks and branches must be shorter than 4′ and weigh less than 50 lbs. Bundles count as one bag.