Saluda ceases leaf pickup 

Published 11:45 am Wednesday, May 1, 2019

City decides to discontinue service after no longer having dumpsite 


SALUDA—After discovering it would cost an additional $6,500 to dump leaves off-site, the City of Saluda has decided to cease its annual leaf pickup service.  

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The city sent notice to customers on Monday.  

“After much discussion and deliberation, the Saluda Board of Commissioners (has) decided it is in the city residents’ best interest to cease our yearly leaf pickup,” said the city’s notice. “The commissioners have decided that the approximate $10,000 in city funds that we spent each year on leaf pickup would be better suited to help further the improvement of our city streets.” 

Commissioners discussed the possibility of stopping leaf pickup earlier this month during a meeting.  

Saluda normally does its leaf pickup in the fall, but the normal city dumpsite for leaves will no longer be available. Saluda is moving its maintenance building to the dumpsite on Chestnut Street.  

Commissioners earlier this month asked city staff to research what it would cost to haul them to another site, including hiring a contractor to take the leaves and finding an alternative site to dump them.  

Saluda previously collected leaves with a street vacuum that was purchased in 1999. The city was paying $7,700 plus fuel and repairs to the machine annually for the leaf pickup service, so about $10,000 a year.  

Saluda is looking at major street repairs, and most commissioners said earlier this month they would rather see that money go towards potholes and street repairs next year.  

“We understand residents have become accustomed to this service being offered each winter and would like to remind residents the options of getting a burn permit from the Saluda Fire Department or transporting the leaves and brush to the Polk County transfer station in Mill Spring, NC,” the city release said. “We appreciate the understanding and patience as we continue to make Saluda a wonderful place to live and visit.”