METHUEN — Hurry and bag those leaves because citywide leaf pickup officially begins on Monday.

City councilors unanimously awarded a $75,000 contract to E.L. Harvey out of Westborough for six weeks of fall leaf and yard waste collection starting on Monday and running through Dec. 3.

It is the first time this calendar year residents will have their leaves and brush picked up, as the city continues to search for ways to bring such a service in-house, according to City Councilor Joel Faretra.

“We’ve been talking about bringing it in-house for a long time and as soon as we do that, we can’t get a truck or find people,” Faretra said at last Monday’s council meeting, referring to the struggle the Department of Public Works has seen to both hire personnel and to secure a packer truck of its own. “I want to thank Mayor Neil Perry and DPW Director Pat Bower for working hard to make sure we can still provide this service to the city.”

According to Faretra, Methuen spent $130,000 in the last fiscal year to hire E.L. Harvey to carry out leaf pickup over eight weeks in the spring and eight weeks in the fall.

The plan was to take the same money this fiscal year and hire staff and procure a truck to do the same services in house, he said. When that was not feasible, $75,000 was spent to hire E.L. Harvey again.

According to the contract signed by Perry, Bower and E.L. Harvey representatives, pickup runs weekdays starting at 7 a.m., with the city split into an A and B schedule.

When a holiday falls during the week, a Saturday pick up will take place.

The full schedule is available on the city’s website by visiting cityofmethuen.net and clicking the link on the homepage. More information is available by calling 978-983-8545.

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