Seasonal Loose Leaf Collection Information

Last updated Nov. 08, 2016 - 10:52 am
  • *Rake leaves to the back of the curb and not into the roadway.Rake leaves to the back of the curb and not into the roadway.
  • *It's also a good idea to keep leaf piles off of the sidewalk.It's also a good idea to keep leaf piles off of the sidewalk.
  • *Share the road! Others need space along the road too. Share the road! Others need space along the road too.
  • *Don't block hydrants. Firefighters need unrestricted access. Don't block hydrants. Firefighters need unrestricted access.
  • *Crews are not equipped to remove limbs and other yard waste.Crews are not equipped to remove limbs and other yard waste.

What is loose leaf collection?

The City of Raleigh provides collection and proper disposal of unwanted loose leaves as a service to its residents. The equipment used is outfitted with large vacuums which lift and deposit the leaves into dump boxes mounted on the trucks and are then hauled away when full. This seasonal service supplements the weekly, year round Yardwaste Program provided by the Solid Waste Services Department. Information concerning the Yardwaste Program can be obtained by calling the Solid Waste Services Department at 919-996-3245 or visiting the Solid Waste Services Department webpage.

Who is loose leaf collection for?

Loose leaf collection is a residential service for citizens living inside the Raleigh city limits who do their own yard work. Crews will only collect loose leaf piles from in front of single family homes.

City crews do NOT provide service to commercial properties such as businesses, schools, churches or apartment complexes.

Landscape contractors are responsible for proper disposal of all leaf piles they create.

Why should loose leaves be collected and properly disposed of?

Leaves are considered a solid waste and should be either recycled or disposed of properly to provide safe, clean streets and to prevent issues within the Storm Water Drainage system.

The City of Raleigh encourages residents to mulch or backyard compost leaves as an alternative to disposal whenever possible. Mulching can be done by simply using your lawn mower to cut the leaves up. More information on backyard composting can be found on the City's backyard composting webpage.

When is it available?

Loose leaf piles are collected in the fall and winter months. The season begins in early November and is typically completed in February. It is the responsibility of each resident to make themselves aware of that season’s schedule and to have their loose leaf pile prepared in time for collection. The schedule is released in October and is made available below. You may also call the Transportation Field Services Division at 919-996-6446.

Where should leaf piles be placed for collection?

Residents must place loose leaf piles at the edge of their yard but close enough to the street that the vacuum equipment can reach them; this is typically the area between the curb and sidewalk. Six feet from the edge of the pavement is the maximum distance a leaf pile can be for crews to collect; otherwise, the equipment cannot reach them.

Do NOT rake or blow leaves into the street. Doing so creates a hazard to the public and is a violation of city code.

How is it done?

City crews make two passes each season using equipment which vacuums the loose leaf piles off the ground. Trucks work their way through the City by pre-assigned routes, alternating the starting point from year to year. Each neighborhood is worked based on a street by street pattern similar to your mail carrier delivering mail. As the truck drives down each street, it stops once in front of each house to vacuum any leaf pile there. Once a street, neighborhood or route is completed, the truck does not go back to that location.

Residents must place leaf piles at the edge of their yard, free from foreign debris and away from potential obstructions but close enough to the street that equipment can reach them. Do NOT rake or blow leaves into the street. Foreign debris such as limbs, vines, rocks and trash can cause damage to the vacuum equipment so keep them out of your pile. Examples of potential obstructions include but are not limited to: parked vehicles, mailboxes, fire hydrants, water meters, guy wires, utility boxes, fences and landscaping. Due to the risk of damage, leaf piles too close to obstructions or mixed with foreign debris will NOT be collected.

The dates which residents must have their loose leaf piles prepared by for collection are listed below. Leaf piles which are put out after the date and time listed for your area may not be collected. It will take crews anywhere from several days to all week to complete an area. The loose leaf collection can be affected by both weather and volume of leaves so this schedule is subject to change without notice.

If you do not know which collection zone you live in, here are two options to find out.

  1. See the section below titled "Unsure of Your Leaf Collection Zone or Yard Waste Day?" Click on the “Services” tab near the top of the page. Next enter your address in the “MyRaleigh Services” box in the right column and the information pertaining to your address will appear.
  2. Call the Transportation Field Services Division at 919-996-6446 and their office staff will assist you.

Residents may see collection trucks out working prior to November 7th as City staff tests the equipment.

Unsure of when Leaf Collection Starts in your Area or your Yard Waste Day?

If you are unsure of when leaf collection begins in your area or scheduled yard waste day, you can find it by entering your address below and selecting it from the list of addresses provided. Please have leaves raked to the curb by 7 am on the start date listed for your zone.

Leaf Collection Schedule

The calendar shows the first day crews are scheduled to begin leaf collection in each area. To ensure collection, please have leaves prepared by 7 am on the day indicated for your collection zone.

(Residents may see collection trucks out working prior to November 7 as City staff tests the equipment.)

First collectionSecond collection
ZoneHave leaf piles ready by 7:00 a.m. onHave leaf piles ready by 7:00 a.m. on
1Monday November 7, 2016Tuesday January 3, 2017
2Monday November 7, 2016
Tuesday January 3, 2017
3Monday November 14, 2016Monday January 9, 2017
4Monday November 14, 2016Monday January 9, 2017
5Monday November 21, 2016Tuesday January 17, 2017
6Monday November 21, 2016Tuesday January 17, 2017
7Monday December 5, 2016Monday January 23, 2017
8Monday December 5, 2016Monday January 23, 2017
9Monday December 12, 2016
Monday January 30, 2017
10Monday December 12, 2016Monday January 30, 2017
11Monday December 19, 2016Monday February 6, 2017
12Monday December 19, 2016Monday February 6, 2017

Keep Leaves out of the Street and off of Sidewalks

Loose leaf piles should be placed behind the curb or edge of pavement without blocking the sidewalk. Do not rake or blow leaves into the street as they present a safety hazard and a flooding concern when leaves are washed into storm drains.

Please see the slide show at the top of the page for examples of what to do and what not to do when preparing your leaves for collection.

Please separate tree trimmings, shrubs, and other types of yard debris from your loose leaves. These items can damage our vacuum equipment and create a safety hazard for our crews. Yard waste and bagged leaves will continue to be collected on your scheduled yard waste collection day.

Please keep leaf piles away from obstructions such as parked vehicles, fire hydrants, mailboxes, fencing, designer landscaping, water meters, utility poles and guy wires. Our crews need room to work and do not want to damage our equipment or your property while collecting loose leaves.

Please help us be environmentally responsible by keeping leaf piles out of the streets and storm drains or by using one of these other alternatives.

The City of Raleigh would like to encourage residents to utilize eco-friendly options such as mulching or backyard composting whenever possible. Visit Backyard Composting for more information.

Citizens who receive the loose leaf collection service can also have their leaves picked up weekly, year-round on their scheduled collection day. Leaves must be placed in either clear plastic bags, bio-degradable paper bags or a solid container. Visit Yard Waste Preparation for more information.

Optional Methods for Leaf Disposal

Raleigh residents also have the option of disposing unwanted leaves by utilizing the weekly Yard Waste Collection on their scheduled collection day. Use any of these options by placing leaves in:

  • Containers with lifting handles, such as a plastic or metal garbage cans, no larger than 35 gallons, and weighing no more than 75 pounds when full.
  • Biodegradable paper bags.
  • CLEAR plastic bags.

Limit 15 bags per week.

View Yard Waste Preparation for more information on preparing yard waste for collection.

Interactive Leaf Collection Map / Description of Leaf Collection Zones

Map of Leaf Collection Zones

Zone "1" is bounded by Glenwood Avenue to the north, Wade Avenue to the south, I-440 to the east and the city limits to the west.

Zone "2" is bounded by Creedmoor Road to the east, Glenwood Avenue to the south and west and the city limits to the north.

Zone "3" is bounded by Six Forks Road to the east, I-440 to the south, Creedmoor Road to the west and the city limits to the north.

Zone "4" is bounded by I-540 to the north, Falls of Neuse Road to the east, St. Albans Road to the south and Six Forks Road to the west.

Zone "5" is bounded Falls of Neuse Road to the north and west, Capital Boulevard to the east and New Hope Church Road and St. Albans Road to the south.

Zone "6" is bounded by Capital Boulevard to the west, Buffaloe Road to the south and the city limits to the north and east.

Zone "7" is bounded by I-440, St. Albans Drive and New Hope Church Road to the north, Capital Boulevard to the east, Wade Avenue to the south and Glenwood Avenue to the west.

Zone "8" is bounded by Buffaloe Road to the north, the city limits to the east, Poole Road and Edenton Street to the south and Person Street, Wake Forest Road and Capital Boulevard to the west.

Zone "9" is bounded by Poole Road and Edenton Street to the north, the city limits to the ease and south and Person Street and Hammond Road to the west.

Zone "10" is bounded by Western Boulevard to the north, Tryon Road and the city limits to the south, Person Street and Hammond Road to the east and I-40 and Jones Franklin Road to the west.

Zone "11" is bounded by Wade Avenue to the North, Western Boulevard to the south, Person Street and Wake Forest Road to the east and I-40 to the west.

Zone "12" is bounded by Glenwood Avenue to the north and east, Wade Avenue to the south and I-440 to the west.

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