Early rainfall and the likelihood of a cooler, wetter fall make leaf collection especially important this year. Removing leaves from catch basins, grates and gutters allows storm water to run off and prevents flooding. The City of Eugene is preparing to kick-off its annual leaf collection efforts.
Keeping leaves out of the drainage system also improves water quality because decomposing leaves use up oxygen that is needed by aquatic life in local streams and rivers. And removing slippery leaves from streets and sidewalks makes travel safer for people walking, biking and driving.
Property owners are responsible, and bear liability, for leaves that are placed improperly in the street or cause safety or localized flooding hazards.
See our Leaf Collection and Delivery Program web page to learn when to pile your leaves neatly in a row parallel to the curb, order leaf deliveries, or report hazards such as leaves in a bike lane. People should place their leaves in the street the weekend before crews are scheduled to be in their neighborhood. The second round of leaf collection will start after Christmas.
Eugene's leaf collection and delivery program is funded by storm water fees because proper use and disposal of leaves keeps decaying leaves out of local creeks and rivers and helps prevent localized flooding caused by blocked storm drains.
Leaf Preparation Guidelines
Public safety and operational efficiency are our top priorities. Here are some tips to help meet those objectives:
- Leaves must be in the paved roadway but piled at least 15 feet away from parked vehicles. Do not bag leaves.
- Do not pile leaves in bike or traffic lanes or on curbs or sidewalks.
- Keep storm drains and gutters clear to prevent localized flooding.
- Do not mix in other debris such as branches, rocks, lawn clippings, pine needles, or trash.
- Leaves are not picked up in private yards.
- Wait to put leaves in the street until the weekend prior to collection.
- Consider recycling leaves as compost or mulch material.
- Unimproved streets are picked up during both rounds but equipment must be able to reach the leaves from the hard road surface.
Outside the City of Eugene
Lane County and the City of Springfield are also preparing to kick-off their annual leaf collection efforts: