Salem to offer more leaf bags Monday at city hall

SALEM – Salem city residents have a chance to pick up more free leaf bags from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. Monday in city hall at the council chambers entrance.

They’ll need to bring the green coupon that was in their water bill and can receive as many bags as needed, within reason.

City Service/Safety Director Ken Kenst said this will be the final distribution for the environmentally safe paper bags, but if that time isn’t convenient for some residents, he said they can call his office at city hall at 330-332-4241 and make arrangements to pick up the bags at another time.

More than 30,000 of the 60,000 bags available have been distributed. According to Kenst, the majority of the people picking up bags have been real happy.

“We want people to use them,” he said. “Environmentally, it’s easier. It’s easier for our crews.”

In previous years, residents used plastic garbage bags to bag leaves for pickup and when city crews hauled the bags to the drop-off site off of Pennsylvania Avenue, they had to tear open those bags to get the leaves out and then throw the plastic bags in the garbage for hauling to a landfill.

With the paper leaf bags, they don’t have to do that since the bags are designed with the environment in mind and will become part of the mulch.

Kenst said residents don’t have to seal the bags or close them, just fill them up as much as possible and have them standing up near the curb for pickup. Leaf pickup began Oct. 21 and will continue indefinitely until all the leaves are picked up.

He encouraged residents to take advantage of the free paper leaf bag giveaway, noting that once the bags are gone, they’re gone.

He’s happy with how the program has worked, but noted this is only the first half of the puzzle. Now people have to rake up the leaves and put the bags to use for city crews to pick up.