TAKOMA PARK, MD – In light of widespread satisfaction with the state’s online ballot tracker during this past election season, the city council has created its own online tracking system for residents to verify that their raked leaves were delivered to the compost pile at the Department of Public Works.
“One of the fundamental pillars of our city government is vacuum leaf pick-up and the bounty of stinky, free mulch it provides each Spring,” said the city manager. “We need to assure our residents that their hard work raking leaves all weekend will not be compromised by a failure of the leaf collection system.”
Residents can check the city web page for updates on their leaves. Once leaves have been picked up, their online status should say “received.” Once leaves are dumped into the compost pile, the status will update to “accepted.” City employees warn that it could take several months before the leaves reach “composted” status, and urge residents not to panic in the interim.
The city manager has said the Public Works Department is already overwhelmed with fielding calls from residents worried that their leaves might have been rejected. If that is the case, the system will notify residents that they must come to the public works building and bag their leaves by hand on the final day of leaf collection while signing an affidavit. Leaves bagged after the final day of the collection period will be held separately pending a legal decision as to whether they constitute legitimate compost.
“With all of the threats of cutting services due to the pandemic, I just don’t trust the government to make sure every leaf is picked up,” stated Gary Portman. “If credibility starts to suffer, I think the city should be prepared for an automatic leaf count by hand. That’s the only way to ensure full transparency.”