Do not place leaves and yard waste to the curb for collection.
Guaranteed curbside collection for 2019 has now ended. Collection will only continue as weather allows.
Piles unable to be collected due to weather will be stuck at the curb until the spring of 2020 when collection resumes.
Residents should take yard waste to a drop-off site.
Watch the Pickup Schedule map to learn when yard waste & leaf collections will resume in the spring of 2020.
When is my yard waste pickup?View Pickup Schedule
Yard Waste vs. Brush
Please separate yard waste & leaves from brush. We will not collect mixed piles.
What is Yard Waste?
Yard waste includes:
- Leaves, weeds, garden trimmings, and other plant debris.
- Twigs less than 18" long.
- Pumpkins, crab apples, pine cones, etc.
What is Brush?
Brush is a separate collection. Brush includes:
- Woody material trimmed from trees, shrubs or bushes.
- Tree and shrub trimmings over 18" in length.
How to Prepare Yard Waste for Pickup
Yard Waste Placement
- Pile your leaves & yard waste at the street edge.
- Do not put leaves in the street. Leaves in the street or gutter are washed into our lakes, where the nutrients contribute to algae growth.
- Keep piles four feet from obstructions.
- Separate yard waste & leaves from brush.
Covering & Bagging Leaves
Compostable Paper Leaf Bags: Please leave bags open at the top so we can see what is inside.
Plastic Bags: Please leave bags open at the top. Bags will be slit open and either left on the terrace or put in refuse cart.
Tarp or Plastic Sheet Cover: You may also cover your leaf piles with a tarp or other plastic sheeting to prevent them from blowing away.
Crews will complete at least three rounds in the Fall, and two rounds in the Spring, depending on weather. We'll announce start dates before each season.
You can also bring yard waste to a drop-off site.
Protect Our Lakes
When rain falls on leaf piles in the street, it creates "leaf tea" that drains into our lakes. Leaf tea contains nutrients that are harmful to our lakes. These nutrients contribute to toxic algae blooms, murky water, and weeds. You can protect our lakes by managing your yard waste the right way.
Following these steps will help protect our lakes:
- Leave the leaf: Mulch leaves where they fall in your lawn.
- Compost yard waste.
- Keep leaves out of the street by raking the street along the curb, especially before rain storms.
- Sign up for alerts from Ripple Effects on when storms are coming and when you should rake.
Leave the Leaf
Consider using your leaves as mulch or compost. By reducing the nutrients drained into our lakes, you can keep those nutrients in your property and improve your lawn and soil quality.
Learn about how to repurpose leaves and yard waste to benefit the environment and your own home.
Learn more about what you can do to protect our lakes and streams with Ripple Effects. Ripple Effects is maintained by the Madison Area Municipal Stormwater Partnership and the Dane County Land & Water Resources Department.
2019 LEAF COLLECTION PILOT - VILAS/GREENBUSH NEIGHBORHOODS
With assistance from the Friends of Lake Wingra, beginning on October 7 and lasting until November 21, the Streets Division will conduct a leaf collection pilot in the Greenbush and Vilas neighborhoods.
During the pilot, leaves/yard waste crews will pick up leaves/yard waste from the terrace every-other-week at the date and time of the posted year-round Clean Streets/Clean Lakes parking restrictions.
The pilot should provide multiple benefits. Since cars should not be parked in the way, collection of the material should be faster. Post-collection street sweeping should be more effective as well since there should be no cars obstructing the work. And, residents will know exactly when yard waste will be picked up.
If the pilot works, we hope to be able to expand this collection scheme in the years to come to other neighborhoods that have year-round Clean Streets/Clean Lakes parking restrictions.