Weather permitting, Joplin's leaf pickup services will start Monday.

Two crews, one from the street department and one from the parks department, will work starting in the southwest and northeast corners and move toward the city's center.

Residents who want to find out where crews are working so they can prepare may check an online map at Areas marked S1 through S5 are where the streets crews will be working. Neighborhoods marked P1 through P5 are the parks crew’s areas. Crews will move through the areas in sequence.

The first neighborhoods that street crews will be working are the Silver Creek, Highlands and Woodland Hills areas. They will then work in other neighborhoods east of Range Line Road. After that area is done, they will move to the north end of Joplin and begin moving toward the center.

The parks crew begins south of 32nd Street and west of Main Street, and it will then move east toward Range Line Road.

Collecting the leaves could take a month or longer, depending on the weather.

Residents should not bag leaves for pickup; leaves should be raked to the curb. No tree limbs, brush or rocks should be included. Leaves should not be raked into the street because they can clog storm drains. For that reason, street-sweeping trucks may bypass an area where leaves are in the street so that it does not push them into a storm drain.

Residents also are asked not to rake them onto manhole covers at the edge of their yard where the water meter is located. That could result in an estimated bill.

Those who want to dispose of their own leaves may take them to the Joplin Compost Facility next to the Turkey Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant at 3457 Eddy Lane, west of Eddy Lane and North Peace Church Road. Residents are asked to remove leaves from trash bags if they are bagged and not to deposit tree limbs or trash with the leaves.

Leaves also can be composted to use as fertilizer on shrubs and plants. To create compost, put leaves, grass and meat-free kitchen scraps in a compost bin. Keep it moist, stir the mixture to speed up the decomposition process and harvest the finished compost from the bottom of the bin after two seasons.

City officials encourage residents to use compost instead of nonorganic fertilizers and chemicals on lawns and gardens. Stormwater runoff polluted by chemical-based fertilizers and pesticides can harm creeks and streams.

Another alternative to leaf disposal is to rake the leaves onto the lawn and run over them with a mulching lawn mower.

Leaves can be bagged and set out for trash pickup or burned, although those methods are not recommended by the city.

Residents must obtain a burn permit from one of the city's fire stations to burn leaves. Permits cost $10 and are good for three consecutive days. Permits also can be obtained in the finance office at City Hall, 602 S. Main St.

For more information about leaf pickup services, call 417-624-0820, ext.1-501 or 1-566, or 417-627-8879.

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