State grant approved for Latrobe leaf vacuum, skid loader |

State grant approved for Latrobe leaf vacuum, skid loader

Jeff Himler
Jeff Himler | Tribune-Review
The city of Latrobe municipal building, at Jefferson and Main streets.

Latrobe’s public works crew will be turning new leaves, in a new way, next year.

The city will expand its complement of equipment to include a leaf vacuum and a skid loader, helping workers to gather up and convert into compost fallen leaves that clutter streets and cover storm drains every autumn.

Michael Gray, public works director, received confirmation the state Department of Environmental Protection has approved a $95,843 recycling grant toward purchase of the equipment, and he shared the good news Tuesday with city council.

Gray doesn’t expect to have the two new items in hand until next year — once paperwork is completed, the city orders the equipment and waits for it to be built.

“It will be the first time we’ll go around town and collect all the leaves,” Gray said. “We’ll compost and recycle them and give them back to the community.”

He explained the vacuum won’t be able to reach down into storm drains to suck up leaves that have fallen inside, but it will be able to clear away ones covering the surface — “anything that’s above-ground.”

The skid loader will be used to turn the piles of leaves collected at the city’s solid waste transfer station, promoting decomposition into compost, Gray said.

Having the dedicated equipment for the compost operation will be an improvement over a backhoe that also is used for other tasks. “Say we use it for digging,” Gray said of the backhoe. “You always have to make sure it’s clean. You don’t want to contaminate the leaves because you’re trying to promote clean compost.”

Gray said leaf compost is available at the Mission Road transfer station this season, for residents to take home to amend the soil in their gardens.

Jeff Himler is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Jeff at 724-836-6622, [email protected] or via Twitter @jhimler_news.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.