Autumn Leaves, so beautiful, so colorful, so peaceful, so serene.  What does Wikipedia have to say about autumn leaves?

"Autumn Leaves" is a popular song and jazz standard composed by Joseph Kosma in 1945  recorded by Bing Crosby, Nat King Cole, Doris Day Frank Sinatra, and Roger Williams made the song a number one hit in the U.S. in 1955, the first piano instrumental to reach number one.

Autumn Leaves is a 1956 American film noir drama directed by Robert Aldrich and starring Joan Crawford in an older woman/younger man tale of mental illness.

Song, Movie And Hassle!

OK, the one thing not mentioned about Autumn Leaves is that they are a mess, a hassle to deal with and they seem to be everywhere!

What's a homeowner with trees to do?

The City of Yakima has a solution.  Solid Waste Manager Loretta Zammarchi says, “People can give us a call and we’ll do what we can to help them do the right thing with their leaves."

Many residents use the City of Yakima’s Refuse Division's yard waste collection program from Spring through November 30th. For $17.55 per month, you get a 96-gallon cart dedicated for leaves and yard debris but if that isn't enough for all your leaves you can order a second cart for $8.77.

More Leave Than You Can Handle?

People can also call the Solid Waste Division and let them know you have extra bags. The Division will accept up to three extra bags placed beside the garbage cart. However, the customer must call in advance for pick-up for an extra fee of $3 per bag.

Because wet leaves can be too heavy to lift, the Solid Waste Division is requesting all bagged leaves be placed in bags that hold 42 gallons or less. If a resident has more than three bags of leaves, Zammarchi said to call the Solid Waste Division for assistance and more options.

But What You Can't Do Is...

The city suggests mulching as an option but leaf blowing is not.  Yakima City Code forbids blowing or depositing leaves and yard debris into City streets and Chapter 6.56.050 requires residents to keep leaves out of the street, alley or public place.

The last word on leaf disposal goes to the city's acting Street Maintenance Supervisor Jay Kendall who says, “The biggest problem is if the leaves are out there and it rains, eventually they’ll get into the gutters and plug the storm drains...That means when we do get a snowmelt or heavy rain then we’ll have flooding in the streets. It can lead to a pretty big mess.”

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