Eugene’s leaf collection program is a stormwater-funded activity that has been available to Eugene citizens since the late 1960s. The program goals are to prevent localized street flooding caused by leaves clogging gutters, catch basins and storm drains, and to protect water quality by removing leaves that otherwise would decay in waterways and lower oxygen levels in aquatic habitats.
Public Works crews collect leaves in every Eugene neighborhood twice between November and January. The city is divided into zones, allowing the leaf collection crews to move through the city an orderly fashion. Once the leaves have been picked up, street sweepers follow the leaf collection crews to ensure that the drainage system remains free of small debris particles.
Leaf Collection Totals
Collecting leaves from the community is a big job! Public Works crews can pick up anywhere from 13,000 to 17,000 cubic yards of leaves a year (a cubic yard is about the size of a washing machine). Staff deliver clean leaves to homes upon request and to community gardens. Anything left over is taken to local recycling companies. Leaves are not taken to local landfills.