Some people got Monday, Nov. 11, Veterans Day, off from work, and from an unofficial tally a good percentage of those folks used the day to get ready for the first round of loose leaf collection, which starts Tuesday, Nov. 12.

The deal is, if you have your leaves to the curb by Nov. 12, the city will have them picked up by Dec. 23, but the system is actually a little more forgiving than that. There is an interactive map on the City of Greensboro Field Services Department website that lets you know if the leaves in your neighborhood have been picked up or not.

The city crews do go neighborhood by neighborhood picking up all the leaves that are out in one and then moving on to the next. The map is useful, but you can also do it the old fashioned way. If your neighborhood has big piles of leaves everywhere then it hasn’t been picked up yet, and it’s not too late to get your leaves to the street even if it’s after Nov. 12.

The city asks that residents pile their leaves on their front lawns at the curb and not in the street, but many people ignore that and blow them into big piles by the side of the road and the city picks them up.

The sweeps do make a lot of sense. It gives every resident two opportunities to get their leaves collected by the city. If, however, you find you missed the leaf collection sweep through your neighborhood and don’t want your leaves out their waiting for the second sweep, which will be from Dec. 27 to Jan. 25, then you can bag those leaves in clear plastic bags or put them in plastic or metal trash cans and they will be picked up by the regular yard waste crew.

The two sweeps are only for loose leaf collection; the city collects yard waste year round.

There is a push by environmentalists to get people to use fewer plastic bags. Imagine how many plastic bags it would take to bag all the leaves collected by loose leaf collection. If you are concerned about the amount of plastic making its way into the environment then loose leaf collection is definitely the way to go.

The city composts the leaves and other yard waste and sells the compost. So you can in effect buy your leaves back in a year or so.