2022 is turning into a year when the weather isn't cooperating with the plan to clean up leaves in the City of Missoula.

The city had already made a decision to postpone leaf collection by one week, and now it appears that means the start will coincide with the first real week of winter weather. 

Missoula Deputy Public Works Director Brian Hensel says the difficult decision was made to delay leaf collection until November 7th this year simply because most of the leaves were still on the trees.

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"Well, the hesitancy is we struggle to get through the entire city even under normal circumstances, so pushing it back a week pretty much guarantees that we probably won't get through the whole city before winter and the snow hits," Hensel explained while appearing on KGVO's Talkback program. "And the reason for that is when the snow hits if we haven't been to a spot where there's leaves on the street then they tend to freeze and we can still get them with the loaders and the dump trucks, but sweeping is out of the question."

Hensel says that means some of the neighbors might miss the leaf pickup this year, depending on November's weather.

"We often don't stay on that schedule and what happens is we'll get a snow event that'll blow in for a day or two. Well, the same guys that run the leaf crews are the same ones running the snow plows. So when we get snow we have to stop leaf collection. Go take our take care of our snow priorities which put our schedule off immediately. And then we've tried to pick up where we left off." 

Hensel says the city will do its best to keep the leaf collection website updated, but admits the conditions can change quickly. He says people are also welcome to call Public Works with their questions.

You can track the program on the city's website

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