The last three years residents have had free leaf bags delivered to their homes. In previous years free leaf bags had been available for pick-up. This year residents will have to purchase leaf bags on their own.
Due to cuts in the City budget, the public works department was forced to cut over $1.2 million and one of those cuts includes leaf bags.
According to the department it is difficult to decide where to make the cuts, but not giving out leaf bags saves about $50,000.
“A lot of cities have leaf bag programs, but none of the other cities supply leaf bags,” said a member of the public works who asked to remain anonymous. “It will also reduce overtime costs associated with the leaf bags.”
About 150,000 leaf bags had been purchased in the past. Filled leaf bags will still be picked up at homes.
Normally bags are distributed in October using three vehicles a day with two people on a vehicle taking 13 days. There were 7,492 City properties that received bags last year.
Bags at one time cost New Britain residents 25 cents per bag. The Common Council then approved giving them out for free. Once the City gave out bags for free, the amount given out doubled. Shortly afterwards it was decided to deliver bags.
Bags cost about $2 for five bags at local stores. The City gave 20 bags to each home that requested them.
According to the public works department, they are trying to get the word out now so people can make other accommodations.
Area stores such as Lowe’s, Home Depot and Ocean State Job Lot have been notified so they increase their inventory as demand may be higher.
Other than the delivery of free bags, the leaf program will remain the same.
Leaf collection begins Nov. 7 on your regular trash day and is expected to end Dec. 9.