12 Nov 2014


Leaf Collections on the Hill

Originally uploaded to flickr.com by Steve Jurvetson

Originally uploaded to flickr.com by Steve Jurvetson

It’s finally feeling like autumn in Washington, DC.  There’s a chill in the air, the smell of Pumpkin Spice Lattes floats in the breeze, and we no longer have to pull weeds and cut grass.  As the leaves turn brilliant shades of yellow, red, and orange, they fall gently to the earth.  Brilliantly-colored leaves that when gathered in mass can be quite slippery in a fall rain (rain fall?), and must be gathered and properly disposed of before we start shoveling snow.

The DC Department of Public Works has announced the schedule for the annual city-wide collection of leaves, and we want to make sure you’re ready.  As is our tradition, Ward 6 is divided in two, and your location determines your leaf collection times.  Each portion of Ward 6 will have 2 rounds of collections so don’t worry if you’re a bit behind in your autumn chores.

For Ward 6 north of East Capitol Street, leaves will be collected curb-side November 3 through November 15, then again from December 1 through December 13.  For Ward 6 south of East Capitol Street, rake your leaves out for collection between November 17 and November 29, or between December 15 and December 27.  DC DPW recommends you rake leaves out to the curb on the Sunday prior to each collection range, since the actual dates for your block will vary.

A few things to remember for a most efficient leaf collection experience:

  • Rake leaves into the tree box space (the planted strip between the street and the sidewalk), not into the parking areas at the curb.
  • Leaves can be loose in piles or bagged.  Piles will be vacuumed up by DPW staff and composted.
  • Bagged leaves can be placed in the tree box or wherever you normally get trash collected and will be collected with regular trash pick up each week.
  • Don’t leave other debris with the leaves – branches, rocks, and trash can compromise the collection equipment.

Of course, you can also compost the leaves yourself for use in next year’s gardens.  If you’re not so inclined to let your leaves decompose at home (in a container, of course), you can “reclaim” your raked and collected leaves in the form of compost on Saturdays starting in March.  Compost is available from 8am to 3pm from March through October from the Fort Totten Transfer Station.  More information can be found on the DC DPW website.

Happy raking!



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