Orange’s street cleaning crew has begun one its biggest annual challenges, the sweeping away and removal of hundreds of tonnes of fallen leaves from street trees.
The council crew has started the work in preparation for another team from Wangarang Industries which joins in the campaign later in the season.
“The beautiful colours of Orange’s street trees draw thousands of tourists and are backdrop from major events like the recent Wine Festival,” Orange Mayor Reg Kidd said. “But, eventually, all those leaves will be on the ground.”
“As anyone who spends time raking fallen leaves in their yard knows, it can be an endless task, but what if you had to shift leaves from hundreds of kilometres of local streets?
“The crew takes on the huge challenge with an industrial strength solution. They use a high-pressure water spray to blast the piles of fallen leaves from footpaths and out of neighbourhood gutters out onto the edge of the road. They then use a giant truck-mounted vacuum to pick up the leaves and carry them away.
“The tonnes of leaves are added to the city’s green waste to be made into compost.
“The water-spray is set to a fine misting setting which uses hardly any water. For the health of nearby residents and our crews, it’s important to dampen the leaves, and keep the dust from the leaves down to a minimum and the fine water spray helps do that. The crew uses water from the rainwater tanks at the depot.
“The roof of the heavy machinery shed at the Works Depot holds solar panels to provide power for the Works Depot. The roof also collects water to fill two 20,000 litre tanks. The water from the tanks is used in place of town water for the pressure water spray to move the leaves.”