Driving through many Germantown neighborhoods, residents can see leaves filling the streets and clogging storm drains. However, Germantown is not included in the Montgomery County leaf collection.
Why not? Well according to Steve Suprata, leaf collection program manager for The Department of Highway Security, the Maryland General Assembly created a "Suburban District," whose boundaries encompass down-county areas and are roughly I-495 and I-270 to Rockville city limits, across to Norbeck Road, Bel Bre Road and Bonifant Road, to the Northwest Branch creek, down to White Oak and New Hampshire Ave. to the Prince Georges County line.
The southern boundary is the Washington D. C. line. Suprata said the purposes of the District were to enhance services in the area, including street sweeping, tree trimming, trash collection and curbside vacuum. While the District was done away with in 1997, Suprata said the boundaries now define what is considered the Vacuum Leaf Collection District. Residents within the District pay an additional fee, currently about $93, for leaf collection in their area.
However, if you are tired of the collection of leaved in your neighborhood, the County offers the option for communities (not individual homes) to petition for a leaf collection program for their area. According to the DOT, neighborhood associations, or representatives, must fulfill the following requirements to submit a petition:
1. The petition must be signed by 80 percent of the neighbors in the area.
2. Representatives provide a description of the boundaries of the neighborhood.
3. Include the number of households to be included in the leaf vacuuming service.
4. Representatives must send the petition in, to to the Department of Public Works and Transportation (DOT), 101 Monroe Street, 10th Floor, Rockville, Maryland 20850, no later than April 15 on the year prior to the desired year of service.
5. The petition must include a contact person for the group.
The County also requires that the area for leaf collection include at least 100 households. Exceptions are if the your neighborhood borders one that is already included in a collection program. See the Montgomery Department of Transportation for more details.
Are leaves clogging the streets of your neighborhood? Tell us your experience in the comments section.