What to do with those leaves?

Chris Caskey, The Union Democrat

With the fall foliage arriving in the Mother Lode, it won't be long before those leaves are covering lawns and yards across the region. And residents have different options depending on where they live for disposing of their annual autumn leaf piles and other yard waste.

In Tuolumne County, it goes through a green waste facility near Sonora with special discounts and some curbside service depending on the day and location.

In Calaveras County, residents outside of Angels Camp have multiple options for dropping off leaves as well as additional curbside options.

Both counties contract their yard waste management to private companies - Tuolumne to Waste Management and Calaveras to SEI Solid Waste.

The Waste Management-run Cal Sierra Earth Resources Facility is at 14909 Camage Ave., off Tuolumne Road. Open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. with a noon to 1 p.m. break, the center charges $5 per cubic-yard for typical green waste like leaves, grass clippings and small tree branches.

Tom Teach, a spokesman at the facility, said the material is ground up and sold for use as a mulch-like substance or to mix with compost. Because of that, those dumping leaves are asked to remove the leaves from any bags and make sure there are no tools or other items included.

Trash, ashes, pet waste, large stumps and non-organic materials are not allowed.

"The biggest issue for us is if somebody has a shovel or pick axe" in the material, Teach said. "When that goes in the grinder, it can really make a mess of things."

For residents of Sonora, there are some additional perks. On Nov. 10 and 17, both Saturdays, city residents with a coupon and up to three cubic yards can bring their yard waste to the center for $1 a yard.

Coupons are available at the city Fire Department, and Teach said the program is designed to discourage city residents from burning their fall yard waste.

In Angels Camp, residents will get a different courtesy for leaves and other green waste. On Nov. 6, SEI will offer curbside pickup for leaves and yard trimmings to city residents. The rest of the county has a number of options where they can haul clean wood and yard waste.

According to the county's waste management department, those locations include Red Hill Recycling and Disposal at 5314 Red Hill Road, Wilesyville Recycling and Disposal at the end of Blizzard Mine Road, Rock Creek Landfill at 12021 Hunt Road in Milton or Copperopolis transfer station at 3831 O'Byrnes Ferry Road.

Fees are $4 a cubic yard, $2 for half a cubic yard or $1 for a single can or bag up to 33 gallons.

Calaveras County residents can visit www.ccsolidwaste.org for more information.

Contact Chris Caskey at ccaskey@uniondemocrat.com or 588-4527.

The Union Democrat
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