Homeowners trying to get rid of leaves while city preps for snow

Bags filled with leaves after an Indianapolis resident raked their yard, Dec. 7, 2017. (WTHR Photo/Russ Govert)

INDIANAPOLIS (WTHR) - While Indianapolis is waiting for snow, many homeowners are still raking and bagging leaves and wondering how to get rid of them.

Mother Nature procrastinated and didn’t deliver on Fall until the city stopped its curbside leaf collection program.

“Two days ago they were in the tree,” Megan Robinson said as she pointed to a huge, leafless tree and a yard covered ankle-deep with them.

Leaves, piles of them, didn't hit the ground until Tuesday. The DPW’s pickup program ended Friday.

Megan Robinson
Indianapolis resident Megan Robinson standing ankle-deep in leaves after a late fall, Dec. 7, 2017. (WTHR Photo/Russ Govert)

“Now they are here and we don't have anywhere to put them,” Robinson said.

Driving around the city and browsing social media sites, we found many homeowners left holding the bag - or should we say bags and bags and bags - of leaves piled at curbs and going nowhere.

What’s Robinson doing to do?

“That's a good question. I'm not sure,” she admitted.

Many residents insist Mother Nature and the Department of Public Works need to get on the same page. The unusually warm Fall delayed the fall and raking and blowing of leaves, but not the city's four-week long collection program.

The city says its forestry experts do their best guesswork, but adding another week is out of the question.

DPW's already spent $500,000 on leaves and they don't have the money or manpower to add another week of pickups, according to spokesperson Warren Stokes.

“The crews that pick up leaves are the same guys that do other work,” Stokes explained. “They are guys filling pot holes, or checking on our trucks during the snow season."

That means homeowners are on their own.

“You can have someone haul them away for you,” Robinson said. “You can let them kill your grass, you can figure out where to stash them.” Where do you ‘stash” leaves? “I don't know," she answered with a laugh.

Homeowners have a few choices. They can put a bag or two of leaves in their trash bins every week, plus an extra two bags on monthly “heavy pickup” weeks. You can also take your leaves yourself directly to the city’s Belmont Transfer Station at 2324 S Belmont Ave., but there is a small charge.