MAYOR TOM HENRYEach year, the City of Fort Wayne provides curbside leaf pick-up for city residents. This year is no different, as our Street Department crews are gearing up for another busy season of neighborhood sweeps. 

The leaf collection teams will conduct two leaf pick-ups in each neighborhood, beginning on October 22 and running through December 7. They will start in the Central section of the City, then work their way South and North.

Leaf collection crews will be in the Waynedale area, and other neighborhoods on the South Side, during the weeks of October 29 – November 2 and November 26 – 30. Residents are asked to have their leaves ready for pick-up on the first day of your scheduled week.

Street department workers will be collecting leaves in your area sometime during those weeks, as weather permits.

Crews will spend the Thanksgiving holiday week of November 19th playing “catch up” on leaf collecting in neighborhoods that were missed due to inclement conditions.

To ensure that we have a smooth leaf pick-up process, our Street Department offers the following tips:

•Rake leaves onto the park strip area, not into the street, or put them in biodegradable yard waste bags and set the bags at the curb for collection.

•If you decide to collect your leaves in biodegradable bags, you can call 311 and have your leaves picked up within two business days.

•Inclement weather conditions or a heavy volume of leaves in one area may force us to slightly modify our schedule. Please go to the city website,, or call the leaf hotline at 427-2302 after October 21 to find out where crews will be collecting leaves that day.
Burning leaves within city limits is a violation of city code. The fine is $50; the fine will increase to $75, if not paid within 30 days.

On another subject, our city’s award-winning recycling program has been named winner of the 2012 Governor’s Award for Environmental Excellence in Indiana.
As you may know, the popular One Cart Recycling program has seen a 42 percent increase in resident participation since the new system was implemented early last year. With the old two-bin system, only 33 percent of Fort Wayne residents were participating and today 75 percent of our residents are recycling with the new one cart system.

The Governor’s Award for Environmental Excellence honors programs in communities that have made extraordinary efforts to protect and benefit Indiana residents and the environment. This is the third prestigious award given to our recycling program.

The success of the recycling program can be attributed, in part, to the collaborative process used to create it. In 2010, I asked neighborhood leaders to participate in the Solid Waste Contract Committee to explore options for a new solid waste contract that would increase efficiency and lower costs. The resulting contract with Republic Services provides a lower contract price, a 50 percent share of the profits generated by the sale of recyclable material, a new one cart recycling system, and the use of automated trucks.

We were able to reduce residential garbage fees by more than a million dollars – and passed those savings on to residents in the form of two rate reductions. So, thank you all for helping make our community the best that it can be by continuing to recycle!