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Billions of autumn leaves being collected

With autumn in full flow, City of Wolverhampton Council is in the midst of removing billions of leaves from pavements, streets, parks and open spaces.

City of Wolverhampton Council street cleansing operatives Andy Downes and Keller Phillips clearing autumn leaves
Andy Downes and Keller Phillips

Giant leaf sucker in action
Giant leaf sucker in action

Every year the council collects vast amounts of fallen leaves from public land from the thousands of trees which line the city's highways and green spaces.

Last year the council collected a whopping 420 tonnes - the same weight as 33 double decker buses or 60 African elephants.

While autumn leaves provide an attractive display, if left on the ground they can become a slippery safety hazard when wet and can block drain covers causing flooding.

Keeping on top of the huge accumulations of leaf fall is the job of the council's City Environment team.

The council keeps records of known hotspot areas which contain the most trees and generate the most customer calls.

The teams work hard to systematically remove leaves and respond to reports of wet leaves causing potential slip hazards.

The City Environment team use a variety of methods to remove the leaves in the most efficient way possible - including the use of machines which suck up the leaves like a very powerful vacuum cleaner.

All leaves collected in the city are sent to a composting plant.

Councillor Steve Evans, City of Wolverhampton Council's cabinet member for city environment, said: "Autumn leaves undoubtedly look beautiful, but when they fall they make this season a hugely busy time for the council's street cleansing teams.

"The teams clear literally billions of leaves from public land to keep the city looking tidy and preventing slip hazards.

"This is a huge undertaking which our teams carry out systematically and efficiently and we try and get around everywhere as quickly as we can.

"I would urge the public to please ensure you dispose of leaves from your private property by either composting them or taking them to one of the city's two household waste and recycling sites. Please don't sweep them onto the street or pavement as this can cause slip hazards and contribute to blocked drains and flooding."

Anyone who is concerned about accumulations of slippery leaves on public land can report it to the council via Contact us or calling 01902 551155.

  • released: Monday 6 November, 2017