City crews will start collecting leaves from residential areas the week of October 23, 2023. Leaf collection ends January 5, 2024.
If bagging leaves, please only use the brown kraft bags and place the required $1 yellow sticker on each bag for collection. Leaves will not be accepted in privately owned containers.
After collection, the leaves will be processed into high-quality leaf mulch that will be available at the Recycling Center in March 2024.
2023 to 2024 Schedule
Week of October 23 -- South of Broad St. (Zones 1 and 2)
Week of October 30 -- North of Broad St. (Zones 3 and 4)
Week of November 6 -- South of Broad St. (Zones 1 and 2)
Week of November 13 -- South of Broad St. (Zones 1 and 2)
Week of November 20 -- North of Broad St. (Zones 3 and 4)
Week of November 27 -- North of Broad St. (Zones 3 and 4)
Week of December 4 -- South of Broad St. (Zones 1 and 2)
Week of December 11 -- South of Broad St. (Zones 1 and 2)
Week of December 18 -- North of Broad St. (Zones 3 and 4)
Week of December 26 -- North of Broad St. (Zones 3 and 4)
Week of January 2 -- City-Wide -- All zones for cleanup
The leaf collection schedule is subject to change based on weather conditions. Visit the Citywide Notices Calendar to see the most recent leaf collection schedule.
Prepare leaves for collection using the steps below.
How to Prepare Leaves for Collection
Residents should prepare their leaves according to the steps below. Improper preparation can cause damage to the machines or result in poor quality leaf mulch.
Rake leaves to the curb and don't place in the street.
Pile leaves away from storm drains and water meter covers.
Only leaves -- no stones, litter, branches or other debris (they can damage the machines) and no yard waste (it can ruin the composting process that turns the leaves into free mulch).
Don't park your car on a leaf pile. It's a fire hazard!
Why Does the City Collect Leaves?
Vacuum leaf collection removes loose leaves that have fallen from deciduous trees in the fall. Removing leaves means less debris and fewer clogs in the stormwater system (which can help reduce flooding). The leaves are composted by the City into leaf mulch which is provided to City residents for free in the spring.
How Does the City Collect Leaves?
Vacuum leaf collection is a difficult job - the volume of leaves is ever changing, precipitation and freezing temperatures complicate collection, the collection itself can be dangerous for staff and other variables like daily traffic patterns affect the logistics.
The City of Falls Church's vacuum leaf collection program is among the region's best. Compared to one or two passes, the schedule above offers residents at least three passes. Crews often double back and make additional passes.
The map below provides a time-lapse view of typical collection patterns (how collection occurs within an area). As noted above, if the variables change, so does the routing. Progress is mapped daily to eliminate missed collections. Please be patient with our team as we strive for the highest level of service delivery possible.
Alternatives to Vacuum Leaf Collection
Did you know that running a two-stroke leaf blower for 30 minutes results in hydrocarbon emissions equal to driving a Ford F-150 Raptor pickup truck 3,887 miles?
Here are some environment-friendly alternatives:
Leave Your Leaves
As leaves decompose, they enrich the soil, create composting mixtures and fertilizers, act as a winter blanket that protects plants that form habitats for hibernating insects, and lessen pollutants.
Tip: Adjust lawn mowers to the mulch setting. As you mow, the leaves will become part of the grass, eliminating raking, bagging, and hauling leaves around.
Build or place a compost bin in your backyard and use leaf remnants for gardening! You can also throw food scraps and other yard waste in your composter, reducing need for fertilizer, saving landfill space, and creating nutritious soil.