Leaf pickup issues continue in St. Joseph County

Leaf pickup continues to cause problems in St. Joseph County. // WSBT 22

Once again this year many residents of St. Joseph County are dealing with curbside leaf piles covered in snow, leaves that never got picked up as part of the county's leaf pickup program.

This issue has Greenworld, the company the county contracted with for leaf pickup, in the cross hairs of public opinion once again.

As the leaves and snow fell seemingly at the same time, the leaf removal company has fallen behind.

Only 16 of the 82 neighborhoods targeted for a third pass for leaf pickup have seen that third pass happen. Neighbors say it's leaving two mountains of muck on each side of the road.

Road conditions for home owners in the Park Forest subdivision in Granger have quickly become difficult to maneuver. Without the leaves picked up, snow plow drivers are restricted.

“It's pretty much a one car pass at this point. You have to stop and let the other person through. There's no way you can get two cars through the road. Normally you can drive two cars through without a problem at all," said Marty Werling.

Residents are concerned the next heavy snowfall will make the roads extremely dangerous for driving.

Currently, Greenworld is focusing on high volume leaf areas first.

During the last warm stretch, Park Forest resident Tom Evans tried putting in a call for a cleanup.

“I believe at the time I had called the county, we were like 32 on the list to be picked up and they had picked up six areas," said Evans.

Longtime residents there have had trouble in the past due to the number of trees in their neighborhood. Some have resorted to hiring an additional company to help.

"We usually hire a service as well to come through and pick up the leaves and generally between the two of them we manage to do okay in front of our house. This year even the service that we hired got behind," said Werling.

Both Park Forest residents WSBT 22 talked to believe Greenworld did the best they could considering the circumstances, but they hope next year will see an improvement.

"I hope that they would work more on prioritizing the subdivisions that have a lot of forests in them, because that's a big problem when all these leaves come down," said Werling.

"The only thing that they could have done was increase the crew sizes, if they had enough equipment to do so,"said Evans.

WSBT 22 did reach out to Greenworld for comment and have not heard back. However, St. Joseph County Commissioner Andy Kostielney said with warmer temperatures it's expected that Greenworld will resume leaf pickup this week.

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