Loose leaf collection by the City of Greensboro appears to be dead.

At the City Council work session on yard waste, only City Councilmember Zack Matheny said that he was opposed to ending loose leaf collection.

It is said that you can prove anything with statistics, and the presentation on yard waste including loose leaf collection would be evidence of that.

One of the charts shows that over a 15-year period, the city would spend $3.7 million less on leaf collection if loose leaf collection was eliminated and leaf burritos and yard waste carts were used.

The 15-year period might seem odd unless you consider, as Deputy City Manager Chris Wilson informed the City Council, that the average life span of a yard waste cart is 15 years.

Wilson said that the plan is to use blue carts for recycling and brown carts for yard waste. Exactly how that switch would be made was not explained.

The yard waste bins or carts that the city is considering for the program are 96 gallons – slightly larger than the current garbage and recycling carts the city provides.

Councilmember Nancy Hoffmann, who lived in a townhome for years before moving to Well-Spring Community, asked if homeowners could be expected to get all their leaves in the city provided cart. Wilson said, “That’s somewhat debatable.  In my yard I can get what I need to in a can.”

Whether or not to allow the use of a “leaf burrito,” which is a reusable zip up plastic bag, was debated by councilmembers.

However, it did appear that the majority of the City Council was in favor of allowing those who couldn’t get all of their yard waste into the city provided cart to use paper bags for additional yard waste, including leaves.

The City Council did seem to be in agreement that plastic bags would be eliminated and that the city would only pickup biodegradable paper bags, which according to Wilson cost on average 24 cents more each than plastic bags.

Councilmember Tammi Thurm asked if plastic bags could be outlawed this summer before the annual leaf season.

Councilmember Marikay Abuzuaiter has long been a supporter of eliminating loose leaf collection and said that if the city stopped collecting loose leaves, “The leaves won’t be going down the storm drains anymore.”

Perhaps someone should tell that to the trees.