GLEN ROCK, NJ - The Borough Council approved investigating a pilot bagged leaf program, which local landscapers say could cost residents upwards of $200 per month during leaf season.

Council President Amy Martin introduced the idea and the Council subsequently unanimously supported investigating the pilot program for this fall, which would include a resident survey, according to Mayor Kristine Morieko.

On Wednesday, July 22, the Council approved investigating the pilot program, citing environmental concerns, in addition to street safety, as the reason for moving ahead.

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Martin said leaves create slick surfaces for traffic and blind spots when they're piled in various locations.

"It's much safer if they're bagged," she said. "They won't be clogging storm water drains," and requiring "countless hours" of the DPW to clear those drains and the roads.

Martin suggested the borough subsidize the bags needed for households to comply, at least for the first year.

Councilwoman Teresa Gilbreath said some households may use the bags for yard debris or waste other than leaves.

"We're not going to see savings in the first year," Gilbreath said. 

Borough Administrator Lenora Benjamin said there will be savings on vegetative waste dumping. The Council discussed raising the dumping ticket fee from $25 per ticket to $40 per ticket, as well.

Martin said landscapers are a "huge" factor. "How will they deal with this?" she said.

Bob Blair of Bob's Lawn Maintenance, said he works in Glen Rock and a bagged leaf policy will affect homeowners' landscaping bill.

"It could add $200 to $250 on top of the November bill," Blair said. 

Another landscaper with customers in Glen Rock agreed. He said "leaves are a pain," as it is, but if customers need to hire landscapers for the pick-up and dumping service, it will "significantly" add to the price.

While the Council agreed there will probably be no cost savings in the first year of the program, they did not say whether taxes will be reduced with the reduction of the service.