Actually–as will be explained–the mound appears and disappears every year. Nonetheless, this year Talker was on a mission. First, we gathered our crack photojournalist team, led by d.t. (d.t. can not reveal his identity as he remains in relative hiding ever since his top secret espionage photos from behind the Iron Curtain in the 1980s.)Then the ascent. In the name of North America! Sir Edmund has his Everest; we ours.
Oh, that explanation. To learn more, we turned (over a new leaf) to Karen St. Aubin. Director of Operations, City of Rochester, Department of Environmental Service. Ms. St. Aubin provides the detailed and informative story:
The City of Rochester uses the entire month of November to conduct the enormous task of collecting loose leaves that residents and property owners have raked to the curb. This is a weather-dependent and time-sensitive activity, as it is vital to pick the leaves up before the snow starts falling in order to ensure the pedestrian and vehicular winter safety of our citizens.
For collection purposes, the City is divided into 8 sections, 4 each on either side of the Genesee River. Each of these 8 sections is assigned for collection in one of the 4 full weeks in November. These sections are further divided into smaller routes for assignment to work crews. The crews collect and remove leaves from all City right-of-way areas between the sidewalk and the curb.
Many different types of equipment are employed in this task, including leaf vacuum trucks, dumptrucks, front-end loaders, tractors, and large and small leaf blowers. The leaves are then transported from the routes to temporary staging locations within the larger leaf removal sections. One of these locations is within Cobbs Hill Park near the tennis court area.We receive many inquiries from interested residents about “what happens next.” The leaves are taken from the temporary staging locations to a large surface lot for composting. Leaves are stacked in long rows called windrows. The leaves heat up within these windrows to an optimum temperature of 135 degrees Fahrenheit, which helps to break them down. They are turned all winter long in order to maintain a consistent temperature in order to speed up the process. By spring the leaves have turned into compost material which can be used around bushes and plants as a natural fertilizer. The City makes this compost material available to City residents at a site near the intersection of Colfax Street and Ferrano Street as part of our Materials Give-Back program.
Thanks Ms. St. Aubin! People do not realize that leaf removal and disposal is a complicated endeavor — done very ably by our City employees. You probably don’t think much about leaves and where they go because of their good work.
Knowing such environmentally sensitive use is made of the leaves made our four day trek to the summit all the better.
ON COBB’S HILL (pics and link)