PORTLAND, Ore. -- The wind-blown leaves are a good reminder that Portland's leaf day is fast approaching.
And the city of Portland warns if you choose to opt out of the service, it will have crews out checking to see if your area is leaf free before the city sweepers come by.
If it's not, you may end up paying a price.
When it comes to raking the leaves in front of his Northwest Portland home, Mike Peaseau enjoys every moment.
"It's fun," he said. "I look forward to it every year."
So it's not much of surprise that Mike opts out of the $30 fee the city of Portland charges to sweep up leaves in his neighborhood twice every fall.
"I do not pay it, I send my tag in and I have everything cleaned up by the time they get here," he said.
According to the city, about half the people who live in the leaf pick up areas opt out of the city's leaf-day pickup service. That means about 15,000 residents don't pay the fee and instead agree to clean up the leaves on streets in front of their homes themselves.
And if they don't do it? The city will still sweep up the leaves.
The city says it does conduct spot checks to make sure those who opt out are cleaning up their leaves, which is why Suzanne Gruner, who also opts-out, is getting an early start.
"They do have an inspector I hear, so I'm always neurotic and come out make sure I've got them all picked up," she said.
Those who don't pay and don't pick up may ending up paying at least a small price.
"We'll be coming after them to collect on their leaf day fees," said Dylan Rivera, spokesman for the Portland Bureau of Transportation.
That was the penalty in years past as well, but it's still not clear how strictly it's enforced.
The deadline to opt out of the service is this Wednesday, Nov. 1.
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