I know it's hard to believe with the milder temperatures and sunny weather we've been having, but winter is just right around the corner (don't shoot the messenger!) And now that the leaves have started to fall from the trees, many cities and towns are trying to get ready for the snow weather by cleaning up yards and streets--which can only mean one thing: it's leaf collection time across Eastern Maine.

If you live in Bangor, like I do, you'd better start rakin', because according to the City of Bangor's website, Public Works Crews will begin making the rounds to collect leaves this coming Monday October 28th! If you're new to town, here's the deal: all you have to do is rake those leaves to the side of the road. Make sure there are no big rocks or sticks in those piles, because the trucks with the super-cool huge sucking vacuum thingies (totally a technically accurate term) go from street to street to suck up all those leaves. By making sure there's nothing dangerous in those piles (or gross--like dog poop!) you make sure all of our friendly Public Works folks stay safe, and we definitely want that. If you have things like brush that you want to get rid of, there is a big pile you can go add to, if you have a permit, right at the Public Works Facility in town.

If you live in Brewer, you have a little more time. According to the town office, and the town of Brewer website, Public Works crews will start the collection of Brewer's leaves Monday November 18th. If you live in Brewer, you'll need to bag those leaves, and leave the bags (see what I did there) curbside for pickup. I'm told leaf pick up does NOT coincide with people's trash pick up, so make sure that those leaf bags are ready to go by 7AM the morning of the 18th!

According to the town of Veazie website, they haven't set a date yet, but plan to soon. Their town office said it would likely be in the middle of November, since they still have quite a bit of leaves that haven't fallen yet.

The Old Town Public Works Department says they pick up bagged leaves throughout the fall, till the snow flies. So all folks in Old Town need to do is to bag up their leaves in brown bags, and leave them by the side of the road. If you have bigger items that won't fit into the bags, you can always dispose of those things at the transfer station in town.

Folks in Bucksport need to have their leaves bagged up and roadside by the November 13th collection date. Again, they'd ask that you don't put sticks, pine needles, trash or animal feces in the bags. If you have questions, you can check the town of Bucksport's website.

If you're unsure of what to do with your leaves, a quick call to your town or city hall can point you in the right direction.

A tip from this tired mom who loves productive short-cuts: if you're using those bags you can get at the hardware store, pick up a bag-bone (or something similar) that helps keep that bag open while you're filling it--mostly so leaves and dirt won't blow back into your face while you attempt to get them in there! Not that that's ever happened to me! (My neighbors get a free show whenever I do yard work!)  It will make your life easier and keep the swearing to a minimum!