This is the city’s new (leaf) packer truck. ML photo by Steve Whipple

Raked and bagged Methuen foliage will vanish from driveways much sooner in coming weeks.

The Methuen Department of Public Works recently acquired a $326,500 packer truck capable of collecting and compacting residents’ leaves. Essentially a giant trash truck, the rig is used primarily for leaf and yard-waste pickup.
The city has been paying a trash hauler for these additional fall pickups.

DPW Director Patrick Bower said the new truck will only be used for yard waste in the short term. If the DPW receives additional packers in the future, they would be used for trash pickup at the city’s parks and fields.

“We are developing the fall yard-waste pickup schedule now,” said Bower. “We are trying to get some infrastructure projects done and manpower is the limiting factor. In the future I’d like to do yard-waste pickup from spring to fall. I know residents would appreciate that.”

Bower added that residents will enjoy season-long yard-waste pickup.

“Owning the packer will provide us with flexibility on when we start and stop the yard-waste pickup season, so in a mild fall, we can pick up until the weather says otherwise. Similarly, in the spring we can start early if the snow melt is early,” said Bower.
The truck is expected to be in operation by late August.