Leaf Collection

Curbside Leaf Collection Program Extended

Due to this year’s late falling leaves and current snow-free forecast, Public Works crews will begin an extra curbside leaf collection cycle on Monday, Nov. 29.

Crews will collect leaves in front of each property one final time and anticipate moving quickly through neighborhoods to avoid winter weather related disruptions. Due to the expected fast pace of this extra collection, residents should rake all remaining leaves to the curb in front of their home prior to 6 a.m. on Nov. 29. The final collection for the Historic District/college area is scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 4. The online progress map will not be used during this collection cycle.

The lack of snow in the current 10-day forecast has allowed crews to briefly delay the changeover in equipment from leaf collection to winter operations, allowing for this extra collection opportunity. Collection may end prior to crews completing pick-up through the entire City if accumulating snowfall becomes expected anytime during the next two weeks. Once crews have completed the extra curbside collection in an area, remaining leaves can be disposed of through the free bagged leaf program, which runs through Dec. 17, or by mulching or composting any remaining leaves.

Street sweeping will begin after curbside leaf collection ends, weather permitting. Residents may also choose to sweep up leaf debris and include it in the weekly yard waste collection program. All yard waste collection ends for the year on Dec. 17 and will resume on March 14, 2022, when yard waste stickers will be required again on all bagged and bundled yard waste.

Leaf Collection Options

The City offers two leaf collection options:

  1. Free bagged (no sticker required) leaf collection program - allows residents to dispose of bagged leaves and yard waste weekly from Nov. 1, 2021 - Dec. 17, 2021.
  2. Bulk curbside collection - every neighborhood has three leaf disposal opportunities each autumn.

The burning of leaves is not permitted within City limits, but residents can mulch and compost leaves, grass clips, etc.

Free Bagged Leaf and Yard Waste Collection Program

From Nov. 1, through Dec. 17, 2021, the City offers a free leaf and yard waste collection program. During this time, homeowners may dispose of yard waste and leaves in 32-gallon paper yard waste bags or clearly labeled cans or carts, free of charge. Branches and other yard waste that are tied into bundles require a sticker at all times. 

To participate, fill 32-gallon paper yard waste bags, clearly labeled 32-gallon trash cans or clearly labeled two-wheeled carts with leaves and other yard waste and place the receptacle at the curb by 6 a.m. on your normal trash collection day. There is a 60 pound maximum per bag. (Don't forget that wet leaves add to the weight of the bag.)

Prior to Nov. 1, a yard waste sticker is required on each bag, bundle, can or cart placed out for collection. Stickers cost $2.50 and can be purchased at many Naperville stores or in the Finance Department at the Municipal Center. Paper yard waste bags are available at local grocery and hardware stores. The City does not provide leaf bags.

All yard waste collection ends for the year on Dec. 17, 2021. This includes the city's yard waste/organics collection program that allows residents to bypass bagging and stickers by utilizing a provided cart to dispose of food waste/organics and yard waste for a seasonal fee fee paid to Groot Industries. Services will resume on March 14, 2022. 

Bulk Curbside Leaf Collection Program

The City's curbside leaf collection schedule provides every neighborhood with three leaf collection opportunities, weather permitting, each year. To participate, residents rake leaves into the street next to the curb in front of their house, avoiding storm drains, at the beginning of each leaf collection cycle.

Collection cycles for 2021 begin on:

  • Monday, October 18
  • Monday, November 1
  • Monday, November 15

 Please note:

  • Crews will collect leaves in front of each home once during each two-week collection cycle. 
  • Snow, rain or freezing weather may significantly delay or permanently halt curbside leaf collection, as the same equipment that removes leaves is used to handle deicing and snowplowing. If snow falls or is forecast, remaining leaves should be disposed of through the City's weekly yard waste collection program. 
  • Collection on a certain day can't be guaranteed.
  • Only place leaves in leaf piles. Items such as branches, twigs, lumber, rocks, Halloween decorations, etc., can cause the equipment to break down, which delays the collection process and increases costs.
  • Rake leaves away from storm drains in the street to prevent flooding.
  • Street sweeping will begin after curbside leaf collection ends, weather permitting. Residents may choose to sweep up leaf debris and include it in the weekly yard waste collection program.

 Infographic showing leaf collection cycle

Leaf Collection Alternatives

Repurposing yard waste for landscaping is good for the environment, can provide a more natural appearance in your landscape and can save you time and money.

Here are some quick suggestions for repurposing yard waste from The Conservation Foundation:

  • Let fallen leaves (and fallen twigs) remain. Leaves are variable in texture and can be collected and shredded at home. Shredding speeds decomposition and reduces leaves from blowing away. Mix shredded leaves into the soil in the fall and allow to break down naturally during the winter for improved soil quality. Leaves also provide food, nesting material, and cover for several types of wildlife, including birds and butterflies.
  • Compost your leaves. Chop them up first to speed up decomposition. Leaf mold (composted leaves) makes wonderful mulch, vegetable garden amendment, and has several uses in organic lawn care.
  • When mowing the lawn, use the mulching feature rather than bagging the clippings. Returning grass clippings to the yard keeps your lawn healthy and saves space in the landfill.

Additional Resources