Worcester Would Pay Nearly $1M to Bring Back Spring Leaf Pickup

by | May 27, 2019 | Headlines, News, Politics

WORCESTER – Due to budgetary reasons, the City of Worcester didn’t include leaf pick-up as part of its spring street sweeping program this year.

A fair amount of Worcester residents screamed into the void of social media as to why their Christmas trees or three dozen lawn bags weren’t picked up from their curbside dumping ground.

The City, however, posted notices on the City website and across their own social media accounts that they wouldn’t be doing the typical leaf and yard waste pick-up as they had in years past.


Yet still, the screams on social media were so loud that even City Councilor At-Large Gary Rosen — with a minimal social media presence, at best — heard them. 

In late April, Councilor Rosen requested from City Manager Edward M. Augustus to create a report on the feasibility and cost of doing a leaf pickup program in the spring.

On Tuesday evening, May 28, the City Manager will present the City’s Dept. of Public Works report on the manpower it would require and the money it would cost to bring the spring leaf clean-up back.

According to DPW Commissioner Paul Moosey, if implemented, the Spring Sweeping Program with leaf pick up would cost the City $955,000 for FY20 — an increase of roughly $500k compared to this 2019’s efforts. 

“This estimate assumes a heavy reliance on hired equipment in order to minimize the impact to other critical spring street maintenance functions including pothole and sign repair along with other street and sidewalk maintenance,” Moosey said in a communication to the City Manager. 

Additionally, Moosey said, the extra cost for leaf pick up “could be funded by an increase in the tax levy budget or as a stormwater function…” which would increase the City’s residential sewer rate eight cents per CCF.

In other words, residents would see an increase in their water and sewer bill in order to fund the leaf pick-up program in the spring. 

The proposed addition to the spring clean up will likely go to vote — and quickly — to be added to FY20 budget. 

The City Council meeting is held on Tuesday, May 28 at 6:30 PM in the Esther Howland Chamber at City Hall in Worcester. View agenda here.

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Patrick Sargent is the founder and lead reporter for ThisWeekinWorcester.com. He was born and raised on Grafton Hill and is a graduate of Holy Name high school and Worcester State University. Previous to starting TWIW, he worked as a contributing reporter for the Worcester Sun. Before that, over the course of several years, he had stints with GoLocalWorcester, Worcester Magazine, the Leominster Champion and Fitchburg Pride. He can be contacted at [email protected]