Cape Girardeau’s Public Works Department has picked up more than 460 tons of leaves in residential neighborhoods since October — about 200 more tons than at the same time a year ago. Solid-waste superintendent Mike Tripp says it seemed like the leaves fell a lot sooner this year. But due to drier weather they are almost a week ahead of schedule. City crews have made 3,123 and hauled off 177 truckloads of leaves. The loads of leaves are dumped on city land on the south side of town, near the solid-waste transfer station. Leaf-collection is handled within seven zones. Collection is done in five and crews are now in the sixth zone. The west side is scheduled to begin next week and be completed by Dec. 19. Tripp said crews then will begin going through the zones again. That phase should conclude by late March. Leaves may be picked up at the same residence several times over the course of the collection season. You must rake your leaves to the curb for collection. City officials advise residents to refrain from raking leaves into the street or parking zones or in areas near fire hydrants, mailboxes, street signs or water-meter lids.