Spring cleanup chores await

By Walt Braun

We might not be too keen about temperatures 10 to 15 degrees above normal when June or July roll around, but we can’t complain much about the days or the nights March has brought us.

Blossoms on Bradford pears and magnolias, as spectacular as they were, have come and largely gone, and the crabapples, quince and forsythia are fading, but the redbuds look terrific. The continuous splashes of color are enough to make one forget that we’re still a couple of weeks away from the historic frost-free date, and that as tempting as it is to plant annuals when it’s 80 and sunny outside, gardeners who do it are still tempting fate.

A better idea for this weekend — a weekend that might be warm enough for some folks to wish the pools were open — would be to do some of the grunt work in your yard that will pay off as the season evolves. In other words, clean it up. Collect all the brush and the forgotten leaves, collect those fallen branches, trim the dead ones and prepare for the city’s annual spring clean-up.

Beginning Monday in southeast Manhattan and progressing counterclockwise as the week progresses, crews will pick up just about any yard waste residents take to the curb.

The little stuff — grass clippings and leaves — must be in those paper bags that are available at a number of local stores. Put branches and limbs in a pile at the curb — and don’t mix the grass clippings and the branches. If you do, they’ll be your problem after crews pass them by. If you have scrap lumber, put it in yet another pile.

And don’t even think about leaving tires, batteries, construction debris, the dead washing machine or household wastes for pickup crews. If you have recyclables, we join the city in urging you to take them to Howie’s.

This cleanup, which involves local refuse haulers, is a terrific annual service that’s good for residents and good for the city. Check the schedule and map on the city’s website ( or call the city at 587-4540.

If you have yard waste, this is your opportunity to unload it. All you have to do is sort it and get it to the curb on time. Have a great weekend.

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